One of Us: Jay Wright

The beloved Villanova coach talks winning it all last year, his just-released leadership book Attitude, and where he gets those impeccable suits.

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Jerold Taylor Wright Jr. I’m named after my father, and it’s also my son’s name.

I was raised in … Churchville, Bucks County, just outside Northeast Philly. These days, I live in Berwyn. It’s beautiful. I’ve got horse farms around us, and great privacy, but it’s just 25 minutes to the airport and 15 minutes to work.

My worst subject at Council Rock North was … chemistry, but I was really good at psychology.

I met my wife Patricia … at Veterans Stadium in October 1983, working for the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League. We were both marketing representatives, and it was our first day of work.

My three kids are always telling me … “Dad, let me help you with that,” whether it’s my iPad, iPhone or laptop. I struggle with technology.

The last trip we took as a family was … Israel, not last summer but the summer before. We went with a group called Peace Players, and it was the most enlightening trip I have ever experienced.

The day after Villanova won the title last year … I was shocked to find people waiting for us at the airport to cheer us on, and helicopters following our bus back to Villanova. I was blown away.

If you’re taking me out to dinner, let’s go to … the Saloon. I’ll have the veal piccata.

The thing most people don’t understand about basketball … is that it’s more important to be unselfish defensively than offensively.

The last movie I saw in a theater was … Fences. Deep.

The hardest thing for me to write about in the new book was … when Dylan Ennis left us before his senior year to go to the University of Oregon. That was a tough situation. He’s a great kid, and we were shocked that he left us.

To stay in shape, I … love to run, but my body is breaking down.

If I weren’t doing this, I would be … trading stocks on Wall Street. Always been intriguing to me — the fast pace and the competitiveness.

I buy my suits at … Gabriel DiNunzio Tailoring in Newtown Square. He makes all of my suits for me. We’ve developed a great relationship.

The team I like playing the most is … Georgetown, because of the rivalry, the history of that matchup. There’s always a huge crowd in D.C. for those games, and we sell out the Wells Fargo Center.

The toughest thing about being a coach is … that it takes you away from your family.

When I hear people say we’re not really a Philly team … I feel bad. We take great pride in representing Philadelphia basketball.

Published as “One of Us: Jay Wright” in the March 2017 issue of Philadelphia magazine.