Fordham head coach Kyle Neptune, who was previously an assistant at Villanova and was part of the Wildcats’ 2016 and 2018 NCAA Championship seasons, has been named Jay Wright‘s successor. Wright announced his retirement on Wednesday with Neptune’s hiring coming in the same press release.
“When looking for a successor, we wanted a candidate who could navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and keep Villanova in a position of strength—now and in the future,” said AD Mark Jackson. “After meeting with several exceptional candidates, we found all those attributes and more in Kyle Neptune. Kyle quickly stood out for his basketball knowledge, recruiting savvy and natural ability to connect with student-athletes and coaches.”
Neptune worked at Villanova for a total of ten seasons, including eight years as an assistant coach. He was hired at Fordham last year, going 16-16 this season (a 14 win improvement year over year). The Brooklyn-native played at Lehigh and also coached at Niagara in between stints at ‘Nova.
“It’s time for us to enter a new era of Villanova Basketball,” Wright said. “After 35 years in coaching, I am proud and excited to hand over the reins to a member of our basketball family, Kyle Neptune. I am excited to remain a part of Villanova and look forward to working with Father Peter, Mark and the rest of the leadership team. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
The Wildcats have arguably been the most successful program of the last two decades, going to 15 of the last 17 NCAA Tournaments (with 8x Sweet Sixteens and 4x Final Fours) and winning 7 of the last 9 Big East titles. Neptune was a big part of that success and now comes back into a very familiar and comfortable environment.
credit to Villanova Athletics for the image