INSIDE WRIGHT’S DECISION TO PASS THE TORCH, HEAD TO THE BEACH!

By Peter Gleason

The dust has settled on the Main Line after yesterday’s Jay Wright presser in which he officially announced his retirement after 21 seasons as Villanova’s coach.

He may be gone, but ask anyone in Big 5 Nation, and they’ll tell you he is more than the greatest coach in this hoops-crazy region’s history.

But he is also a cultural icon.

His charm, wit and style have been part of us for more than two decades.

Now he is gone.

The big question is why.

The Athletic’s Dana O’Neal is as close as you can come to being a Wright whisperer, and here’s her take:

Midway through the press conference, Wright vacated his seat, making room for Neptune, the two embracing in a figurative passing of the baton.

His head still spinning, Neptune laughed when asked about taking over Wright’s space.

“No, I haven’t thought about that. Not at all.’’

His to-do list is already lengthy. Along with media obligations and moving from New York to Philly, Neptune takes over amid a live recruiting period. He not only needs to find Villanova’s more distant future, he needs to shore up the immediate one; two of Villanova’s commits, Cam Whitmore and Mark Armstrong, attended the banquet.

Wright, on the other hand, has no idea what he’ll do next. And he’s thrilled about it.

So much of coaching is worrying about the future that there’s almost no time to appreciate the accomplishments. Asked about his legacy, Wright brushed it off. He’s proud of what he’s accomplished at Villanova, but he said he’s never sat still long enough to really consider it. Now, maybe, he finally can. He will stay on at the university in a not-yet-defined ambassador role, no doubt putting his formidable charm behind fundraising efforts. Maybe he’ll try broadcasting. Maybe not. He has to clean out his office but figures he can sneak in when Neptune is out recruiting.

But asked what he’ll do tomorrow, when he wakes up for the first day of the rest of his life, Wright paused for a few beats. “Um…’’ he said, a smile spreading across his face, “I hope I can go down the shore.’’

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