Villanova’s Jay Wright Dismisses Links to 76ers’ Head Coaching Gig

Villanova Wildcats' head coach Jay Wright and guard Collin Gillespie in February. Photo by Chris Szagola/CSM/Shutterstock (10545707p)

After firing Brett Brown last month, the Philadelphia 76ers embarked on a search for a new head coach and have reportedly identified several candidates for the position. One of the favorites to fill the vacancy is Villanova’s head coach Jay Wright, but it appears that the two time NCAA champion isn’t interested in taking on the challenge.

Wright released a statement on Wednesday in which he dismissed the links with the 76ers’ head coaching gig, saying he is happy at Villanova.

“The 76ers have a great leader in Elton Brand, outstanding young talent, and an incredible opportunity for any coach to compete for a championship,” said Wright. “As a lifetime 76ers fan, I have confidence they will bring in the right coach to build on what Brett Brown has developed. I am not a candidate for the job. I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova.”

While he never worked in the NBA, Wright is highly-regarded in basketball circles thanks to the job he did with Villanova. In 20 years with the Wildcats, he transformed the program from an average basketball team to a college powerhouse. During his tenure, Wildcats made three Final Four appearances and won national championships in 2016 and 2018.

Besides Wright, the 76ers are also looking into former Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach and current LA Clippers’ assistant Ty Lue. The organization reportedly believes that Lue’s experience with superstars and NBA champion pedigree could lift their underachieving team.