Jay Wright has had quite the incredible run at Villanova, but could he be on the move? After getting swept by the Boston Celtics the 76ers look to be about ready to fire long-time Head Coach, Brett Brown. The most obvious replacement is from a local college in Villanova, a school that has one of the best Head Coaches you can find. Wright has won 2 of the last 4 NCAA titles that make Wright a high-level candidate for any job, including the NBA. While that would be a brutal loss for the Wildcats, a program that has had so much success under Wright, I’m sure the Sixers won’t be the only team looking at Wright. The Brooklyn Nets could be a team looking for a coach also, maybe a landing spot there. I’m not sure I envision Wright departing but if he does, let’s look at potential replacements.
Coach Beilein has been an awesome College Coach for a long time, most notably at WVU and Michigan, but after the 2018-19 season, he made a shocking move to most in leaving to coach then Cleveland Cavaliers. To say the least, it didn’t workout and he and the team mutually agreed to part ways right before the All-Star break, Beilein lasted half a season in the league. Could he now be headed back to College Basketball? When you have a coach of his pedigree there it’s something to consider. I think it’s more so if he wants to come back and coach. He’s a guy from all accounts I’ve seen say he is just a Basketball guy at heart and probably will be back at some point, there’s not going to be a better opportunity than the one that will be at Villanova if Wright departs.
Jim Calhoun- St Joesph’s (CT) D-3
This one is fairly unlikely but it’s still a fun thing to consider, as this whole thing is hypothetical. Calhoun has plenty of experience in the Big East with UConn, he coached for 36 years there and won 3 championships, and retired after the 2012 season. He came back to coach D-3 hoops in 2018 and led St Joesph’s (CT) to their first-ever D3 Tournament bid ever, clearly, he’s still got it as a coach. He’s 78 years old which would make him the oldest in College Basketball at the D-1 level, is that a job a Calhoun would want at this age? I probably wouldn’t but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who loves the game as much as Calhoun.
George Halcovage- Villanova Assistant
Halcovage has been along for the whole ride of recent success as a Nova assistant, he gets the culture and will have a Head Coaching opportunity sometime in the future whether it’s being Jay Wright’s replacement or going elsewhere. He joined the staff as a grad assistant in 2008, and was along for all three of their Final four runs, 2009, 2016, and 2018, while he has won two championships while on staff. He’s been along for the whole ride so he’d have to be considered as a candidate for this job, and in the current time we’re in with the pandemic and everything going on, it may just be better to keep the hire in-house and see how that goes rather than paying extra for an outsider.
Chris Beard- Texas Tech Head Coach
Okay, look away Texas Tech fans, Chris Beard has proven to be a very good coach at both Little Rock and Texas Tech winning big-time games, getting to a championship at not exactly a school with rich history in Texas Tech. I think many in the industry respect Beard a ton and seemingly he would bbe a home run hire for any team. He’s likely going to move on from Texas Tech at some point that’s just the reality of it. Believe it or not Beard already makes more than Jay Wright, but I think Villanova could decide to pay up if they really want Beard. I have a feeling he would leave for the NBA at some point but maybe he instead decides to head to Villanova.
Phil Martelli- Michigan Assistant
Martelli was the coach at nearby school, St Joe’s for 24 seasons and led the Hawks to 7 NCAA Tournament’s in that time frame, also had National Player of the Year, Jameer Nelson on his team. The Hawks parted ways with Martelli following the 2018-19 season, then Martelli joined Juwan Howard’s staff at Michigan. Martelli is very familiar with the area and would likely have buy-in from the administration and fans immediately.
Will Wright leave Nova? I doubt it, but it’s a fun thing to talk hypotheticals and see some possible options to replace him.