Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright is known for many things, winning two NCAA championships in the last six years, holding a place as a basketball Hall of Famer and being the best-dressed coach in college sports.
However, Coach Wright’s wardrobe has taken a drastic turn. Wright has nixed his iconic and classic suits for a series of matching sweat-sets, ditching class for comfort in this 2022 basketball season. His style on the sidelines has moved away from sophistication in favor of casual, and we have to wonder if it’s affecting his game.
“We’re going casual,” Wright said when asked about his attire choice before the season began. “We’re going to try it out and see how it goes. Everybody seemed like they were gonna go casual, and now that it’s getting closer to gametime, I think some guys are going the other way, but we’re prepared to go casual right now, and we’re gonna see how it goes.”
Wright attributed much of his sense of style to his late tailor, Gabriele “Gabe” D’Annunzio, who passed away last winter. In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wright remembered his tailor fondly and gave him all the credit for his chic look.
D’Annunzio was responsible for many of Wright’s iconic looks, specifically his double-breasted suits, and his great attention to detail. Even without the suits, Coach Wright still radiates confidence and calmness on the court no matter what he is wearing.
Coming out of a loss against Baylor, it is worth questioning whether or not Wright sporting his usual suit would have changed Villanova’s fate. During the abysmal game, Villanova students took to YikYak to express their frustration.
“Pajama Jay is Hall of Fame menace to society,” one YikYak wrote.
Another YikYaker, with a tone of anger and optimism, wrote “I feel like if Jay would just wear his suit again we would be ranked no. 1.”
Villanova student and men’s fashion blogger, Brendan Donoghue (@mensfashion5s on Instagram) expressed his opinions on Wright’s new look.
“Fashion mogul Tom Ford has been quoted as saying ‘dressing well is a form of good manners.’ Donoghue said. “Well, in coach Wright’s case, dressing well is a form of intimidating the opponent before tip off. If Villanova has a fashion icon, it is Coach Jay Wright. Coach Wright’s suits are not just a staple of Nova’s campus, they send a clear message of preparation, attention to detail, and sophistication that sets the tone of his program”
Aside from being iconic, Wright’s suits represent preparedness and poise on the court. They are reflective of a strategic and confident team who present strong competition to their opponents.
Now, at about a quarter of the way through the season, Villanova already has three losses under their belt, notably one of which was to UCLA coach Mick Cronin, who sported a suit during the game. The Villanovan asked Wright how he felt about ditching the suits this season, and whether or not he thinks this would have made a difference in his losses against UCLA and Purdue.
“I did think that Mick looked really good,” Wright said. “It might have impressed the officials a little bit, it might have helped him, but he did look good. I was jealous.”
The Villanovan went on to ask the question on everyone’s minds: will the suits be making a comeback this season?
“I actually enjoy the casualwear,” he said. “I really do.”
Wright expressed that he plans to continue with the casual trend for the remainder of the season. While this comes with collective outcry from the Villanova student body, we only wish the best for Coach Wright and the men’s basketball team. The suits may not be making a comeback but we sure hope the ‘Cats will.