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24 December 2006

Celebrating the birth of our savior

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
12/24/2006 03:20:00 AM

Each year, we take time out of our busy lives to observe the birth of someone very special. Sure, we might not fully appreciate all he has done for us year-round, but this time of year we make sure to celebrate the birth of our savior.

I am, of course, referring to Coach Jay Wright, the savior of our basketball program, who turns 45 today.

When Jay took the reins in 2001, the program was a shambles. Steve Lappas had been run out of town, and the team wasn't getting the kind of recruits to get to the next level, which at that time was the NCAA tournament.

Fast-forward five years later, and the Villanova basketball program has undergone a remarkable transformation. Since Jay Wright became head coach, the team is 112-61.

After suffering through a five-year long NCAA tournament drought, the 'Cats returned to the big dance in 2005, reaching the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual champion North Carolina on a phantom traveling call. It was the closest UNC came to being beat during its tournament run.

The next season, the Wildcats opened the year ranked in the top five, despite losing Curtis Sumpter for the entire year in a preseason injury. Jay and his unique 4-guard starting lineup went on a tear, notching a 28-5 record on their way to an Elite Eight appearance before bowing out to eventual national champion Florida.

The 'Cats finished the season in the top five, and Jay won three national coach of the year awards.

After losing three guards to the NBA this spring, Jay responded by signing up four incoming guards whose talent may even exceed the last class. Coach Wright has turned Villanova into a national recruiting player, and much success is yet to come.

So happy birthday, Jay Wright, and many happy returns (to the NCAA Tournament, of course).

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At 7:20 PM, January 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH YEAH!!!!!!!


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