Villanova coach Jay Wright says he won't pursue 76ers opening

Jason Owens
·2 mins read

Jay Wright’s name regularly surfaces when NBA coaching positions open up.

The 58-year-old has a good thing going as Villanova’s head coach and generally isn’t expected to look elsewhere. But if there’s ever an NBA opening that would tempt him, the Philadelphia 76ers vacancy is it.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia-area native and self-proclaimed lifelong 76ers fan announced that he is not a candidate for the vacancy opened by the firing of Brett Brown following a first-round playoff sweep to the Boston Celtics.

‘I am very happy ... at Villanova’

“I am not a candidate for the job,” Wright wrote in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova.”

Wright also expressed confidence in the franchise during its coaching search.

“The 76ers have a great leader in Elton Brand, outstanding young talent and an incredible opportunity for any coach to compete for a championship. As a lifetime 76ers fan, I have confidence they will bring in the right coach to build on what Brett Brown has developed.”

Jay Wright says he's not interested in 76ers opening. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Jay Wright says he's not interested in 76ers opening. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

It’s not clear if the 76ers seriously considered pursuing the Villanova coach who has led the Wildcats to two national championships since 2016 and helmed the program for 19 seasons. But Wednesday’s statement allows Wildcats fans to breathe easy as Wright has Villanova poised to compete again for the title.

Who will take over 76ers sideline?

Meanwhile the 76ers coaching search carries on as the franchise looks to right the ship that has failed to live up to the expectations of building around young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Veteran NBA coaches Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd are expected to be among the contenders for the job.

South Carolina women’s head coach and Philadelphia native Dawn Staley has also reportedly expressed interest in the opening. It’s not clear if the 76ers would consider making the groundbreaking hire.

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