Jay Wright is the subject of an excellent GQ article written by Larry Platt – wait, ball photo-sending Larry Platt? yes, indeed – which focuses on Wright’s zen and the mental approach he teaches his players. It’s an outstanding sports article, but if you need a further hook, this did it for me:
To spend some fly-on-the-wall time backstage with a major college basketball program is to marvel at the diversity of decisions that confront the head coach. He is a CEO toiling at a strange and singular work, running a lucrative, persnickety operation. Wright focuses on minimizing his choices and the worries. This is how the Philadelphia-area tailor Gabriele D’Annunzio found his way to Wright’s office one day when I was hanging out there.
The 72-year-old D’Annunzio has outfitted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Frankie Avalon. On this day, though, D’Annunzio comes to Wright, and the coach barely interrupts a day focused on Villanova basketball. To further aid in eliminating decisions, D’Annunzio will later give Wright photos of outfit combinations that populate his two spacious closets—one dedicated to his suits and just shy of 50 shirts, another providing a home to his shoes.
While the coach and the tailor huddle over a table full of fabrics, a parade of Villanova staffers burst in to run a variety of pressing matters by Wright. As he discusses team chemistry with associate head coach Baker Dunleavy, he drops his gym shorts and slides on a pair of tuxedo pants.
Where were we? Ah, right, the article. It’s good. Go read it here.