Patricia Wright (nee Reilly) is the wife of Villanova‘s head basketball coach, Jay Wright.
Patty met Jay in college back in 1983, when she was a cheerleader. After graduating, the two tied the knot. They are now the proud parents of three children.
Patty has been supporting her husband throughout his career and was on-hand on Monday night when Villanova beat Michigan and became the 2018 NCAA Tournament champions.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Has 3 Kids With Wright
The Wrights are parents of three children, two boys and a girl.
Their oldest son, Taylor studied public policy at Brown University. He currently works as the Director of Operations for Villanova’s baseball program.
Their middle child, Collin, graduated from Fordham University in 2016, and currently works for Vanguard, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The couple’s youngest child, a daughter named Reilly, attends the University of Pennsylvania, where she is in a sorority. Reilly is also a ball girl for the Phillies, according to her Instagram account.
2. She Graduated From Villanova in 1983 & Has an Inactive Law License
Patty attended Villanova, which made her husband’s coaching opportunity pretty easy to get behind. She was a cheerleader when she met Wright, who was a student at Bucknell University and had been doing marketing for the Philadelphia Stars at the time, according to Fab Wags. Patty graduated from Villanova in 1983.
“To think that he’s come back as the head basketball coach, it’s beyond my comprehension,” Patty said after Wright accepted the coaching job at Villanova.
Patty studied law in school and is a lawyer, though she doesn’t keep her license active. Instead she has dedicated her life to being a mom and a housewife. As her children were growing up, Patty would make sure to be as present as possible in their lives, especially when there was something going on that Wright wouldn’t be able to get to — like baseball or soccer games.
“Being a college coach I want to be at my own kids’ games. Thank God my wife is great at that. You feel guilty when you miss something. You do your best to be at everything. Just communicate that with them. Talk to them. Tell them that you want to be at this game or I won’t be at this game or I made a mistake here, but you mean a lot to me and I want to share things with you. I think the honesty aspect and doing the best you can as a parent is good enough. You will learn that your kids don’t want you to be perfect either. As long as you let them know that you are human and that you are honest with them,” Wright told Life of Dad’s Art Eddy.
According to GQ, Patty has also been known to watch hours of film with Wright, supporting him in his career.
3. She Is Wright’s Biggest Supporter & He Credits Her With Keeping the Family Grounded
Throughout his career, Wright has had the support of his wife, who has always been on-hand to give him a big hug or kiss whether she’s saying, “good luck,” “congratulations,” or “there’s always next time.” Many know Patty to be one of the most supportive, loving wives — and Wright knows it, too.
Over the years, Wright has spoken very highly of his wife, whom he credits with keeping the family grounded. In an interview with the Inquirer, back in 2010, Wright spoke about the struggles of trying to keep up a “normal existence” with his wife and kids, despite being one of the most successful active coaches in college basketball.
“He credits Patty, who he says is ‘very protective,’ with being primarily responsible for creating that kind of environment,” the Inquirer reported.
“I want to be there for them, but I want to keep it low-key. Because I’m not Jay Wright at that point. I’m just another father. When some of the guys come over the house after practice, Patty cooks for them, they’ll sit around talking about the game, imitating coaches, it’s fun to be a part of that,” Wright told the outlet. He went on to talk about how he and his wife taught his kids to be good people, regardless.
“Some things always take priority. Even when they don’t have a good game or something, you love that they’re good teammates, or coachable. You can still be a good person, no matter what. That’s Patty’s influence, as much as anything. We’ve tried to instill that in them. That’s what I love the most,” Wright explained.
4. She & Wright Were Awarded the Inaugural Saint Augustine Medal in August 2017
In August 2017, Patty and Jay Wright were awarded the inaugural Saint Augustine Medal.
“The Saint Augustine Medal, presented by the Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, is bestowed upon an individual or a couple who exemplify the spirit and teachings of Saint Augustine, a deep commitment to the Order of Saint Augustine and the Augustinian values of Truth, Unity and Charity. The recipients exhibit a strong desire to live life in the path of Saint Augustine in their personal, professional and spiritual lives and demonstrate a commitment of service and generosity to the Province,” reads a description of the award on Villanova’s website.
The Wrights have been dedicated to Villanova and its students for several years, making them the perfect recipients for this award. The school cites the couple’s “positive influence” and their “generous support of the Augustinian Fund,” as a couple of reasons why they were so deserving of the Saint Augustine Medal.
“One of the things I always say to our players is that the greatest gift I can give you as a player, as a coach, as a mentor is the truth…and I want to do that here tonight… You are all here because you’re friends of ours, you’re friends of the Augustinians…We’re all here because we need these men in our world. We need more of them…This night is about us always remembering… to keep this world getting better we need to keep the Augustinians strong. I thank you for understanding that. Let’s all make a commitment to ourselves tonight, that in all the charitable work we do, there’s always a significant place for the Augustinians…This one is worth it. The Augustinians are worth it,” Wright said in part of his acceptance speech.
5. Wright Was Accused of Cheating on Her in 2012
Back in 2012, a false rumor that Wright had relations with a co-ed — and got her pregnant — started circulating online. According to Deadspin, unnamed sources started spreading the bogus rumor, claiming that Wright would be resigning after he had relations with a freshman Villanova student.
A member of the university’s athletic department reached out to Deadspin to say that the reports were “false” and that Wright would not be resigning, despite “reports” to the contrary.
The rumor continued to spread on social media, but eventually the chatter died down.
According to SB Nation’s VU Hoops, Patty and her husband were made aware of the rumor but chose not to address it publicly.
“In discussions with Wright family friends, associates and colleagues, all denied that any part of the stories circulating on the Internet over the past few days was true. Wright and his wife, Patty, are aware of the rumor’s existence, but don’t feel that acknowledging them publicly would give credence to them and encourage their spread,” the site reported at the time.