Villanova Taps Legendary Coach as Commencement Speaker

Jay Wright to speak at commencement
Image via Tom Gralish, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright during the NCAA Selection Sunday viewing on campus March 11, 2018.

Villanova University announced Thursday that outgoing Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright will be the school’s commencement speaker, writes Susan Snyder for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The winningest coach in Villanova history will also receive an honorary degree.

Wright will address graduates at the ceremony May 13, 2:30 p.m. in the Villanova Stadium. The idea of a commencement speaker was still up in the air because of the pandemic.

But when Wright announced his retirement as head basketball coach this month, the university decided to bring him in because of his contributions to the university academically and athletically.

 “This recognizes the impact he has and gives him the opportunity to share his own message with the 2022 graduates,” said university spokesman Jonathan Gust.

Wright began coaching the Wildcats in 2001. He achieved a 520-197 record over his 21 years.

The team won two NCAA national championships, in 2016 and 2018, and advanced to the Final Four this season. The team also maintained above a 3.0 GPA academically.

Wright will have a new role as special assistant to the president, helping with fund-raising, advising and other tasks, the university said.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about Jay Wright speaking at Villanova’s commencement.


Jay Wright speaks at a press conference after retiring as head coach.