—Jay Wright has been working for 32 years to get to this moment; and it’s as though he isn’t sure this is really happening.
Monday night in Houston, Wright led his guys to the National Championship.
His stoic reaction as his team won the game, was as surprising as the outcome of the game itself.
Holding back the tears? Or the shocked, stunned reaction to the nano second change of events that just took place before him. You can imagine that after North Carolina nailed a three-pointer to tie the game with six seconds to go in regulation the veteran coach must be thinking about overtime strategy and its as though reality caught him off guard.
There would be no overtime.
He is the head coach of the 20016 National Champion Villanova Wildcats.
“You know, it is still surreal,” Wright said after the game.
“I don’t think I’ve really digested this yet. I really don’t. I’m still in my coaching mind, making sure we handle things properly, making sure we cut down the net correctly, we take care of our responsibilities here. I don’t think this has hit me yet.”
Wright continued, “About my reaction, when you’re a coach, you’re always thinking about the next play. I was really thinking, Is there going to be more time on the clock?”
32 years after beginning his career as an assistant coach at Rochester in the early 80’s he reached the pinnacle of his ambitions.
It was decided in seconds. 32 years of work solidified in seconds as his player, Kris Jenkins put a single orange basketball in a basket and all those years of hard work paid off.
“I’m the adult,” said Wright.
“I got all these 18- and 22-year-olds around me. They’re going to go crazy, and I’m going to have to get them gathered up here and we’re going to have to defend a play with .7 seconds. That’s what I was thinking.”