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Sixers head coach candidate profile: Jay Wright

Doc Rivers fired: Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey holds press conference
Doc Rivers fired: Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey holds press conference 24:59

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- After firing Doc Rivers following another second-round playoff exit, the Sixers are in the running for a new head coach. 

With several big-name NBA coaches being ousted recently, there's no shortage of candidates for the Sixers to consider. 

But in our series of profiles of potential coaches to replace Rivers, let's start with one Philadelphia fans know and love: Former Villanova men's basketball coach Jay Wright. 

Who is Jay Wright? 

Wright, 61, is a Churchville, Bucks County, native, just about 30 miles north of Philadelphia. 

Wright coached at several stops in college, but he's known most for turning Villanova into one of the premier basketball programs in the country in his 21 years at the helm. 

Wright won two national championships at Villanova -- 2016 and 2018 -- and had a total of four Final Four appearances. He was named AP's Coach of the Decade in the 2010s, inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and he was an assistant coach for the United States during the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. 

Overall, Wright had a 642-282 record in college and went 34-16 in tournaments. He won five Big East Tournaments at 'Nova and earned the conference's Coach of the Year award six times. 

After an incredible run to the Final Four in 2022, Wright unexpectedly retired from coaching. He's now a college basketball analyst with CBS/Turner Sports. He's also the special assistant to the president at Villanova. 

Does it make sense? 

For basketball reasons, it would make sense for the Sixers to at least reach out to Wright about the job, especially given his success. What's the worst that could happen?

But, Wright is definitely a long shot to get hired compared to other candidates with NBA experience. 

Wright told The Athletic in 2018 that the NBA "does intrigue me." But he would never leave Villanova to make the jump.

After he retired, he appeared on the "Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show" and discussed potentially making the jump from college to the pros. 

"Right now I definitely need a break," Wright said in 2022, via "Right now I'm looking forward to this [special assistant] position at Villanova. But honestly, down the road, I'd be lying – I don't know what I'm going to feel like."  

Wright has never coached in the NBA before. His only experience coaching pros was during the Olympics as an assistant in 2020. 

But, maybe the opportunity to coach reigning MVP Joel Embiid, possibly James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and others could get Wright to take a stab at the NBA. 

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