Naturally, there has been a firestorm of online activity, within the Villanova Wildcats blogosphere, when word emerged that Jay Wright had been one of half a dozen candidates interviewed for the vacant Philadelphia 76ers head coaching position.
Well, have no fear. Wright will be staying on the Main Line. Today, Kate Fagan, the author of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Deep Sixer blog (which is a clever title, by the way), wrote conclusively, that while Wright interviewed for the job, that he subsequently asked that the 76ers withdraw his name from consideration.
In addition, it's worthwhile to consider that another candidate, Chris Ford, also has strong Villanova ties, as a former standout guard for the Wildcats, from 1969-72. According to the Villanova media guide, Ford-
"Guided Villanova to a record of 65-21 and three consecutive NCAA appearances during his three seasons ... Posted 1,433 career points, the 21st highest output of all time..."(Note: Ford played only three seasons, as freshmen were not eligible at the time.)
Here are some highlights from Deep Sixer's post on the subject.
The Sixers and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced this morning that they have completed six interviews for their vacant head coaching position. Until this release, the number was thought to be four...So that seems fairly conclusive to me. Jay Wright will remain at his dream position - head coach of the Villanova Wildcats.
Who were the two candidates interviewed that weren't known? A source has confirmed that one was internal candidate Chris Ford, who has been the head coach of the Boston Celtics as well as a short stint with the Sixers. The second was Jay Wright, currently coaching the Villanova Wildcats. Villanova PR has confirmed that Stefanski reached out to Wright and that Wright said he is not interested in moving from Villanova to the Wachovia Center. A press release is expected confirming that Wright will remain at Villanova.
Here are Wright's comments:
“Last week, Ed reached out to me to see if I would be willing to speak to him about the Sixers’ coaching position,” stated Wright. “He is a longtime friend of mine whom I have great respect for and is someone I talk to often. We had a lively conversation about the vision Ed has for the Sixers organization. As a lifelong Sixers fan, I was honored to be part of the process.
“Following our meeting, I called Ed to thank him and requested that he remove me from consideration. I love Villanova and it is where I want to be. I am grateful to the Sixers for including me in the process. There is a lot to look forward to for Sixer fans like me with the young talent they have put together and the leadership of Ed Stefanski.”
Accordingly, have no fear about Wright leaving... and of course, have a great Memorial Day weekend...
Of course, check back for the latest posts in the Senior Farewell series, in which I'll be looking back at the Villanova tenures of the other two departing Wildcats, Dwayne Anderson and Dante Cunningham - the Frank Tchuisi and Shane Clark series are already completed...
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