Perhaps the most important key in building success is patience.
Success will not happen overnight, both on the court and off the court. It’s going to take a while to land the top recruits and it’s going to take time for all of it to mesh together on the court once the roster is in place. For some programs, it’s a five-year process, for others it could take up to a decade. But for Jay Wright and Villanova, patience was a key in building their program into the premier program in all of college basketball.
For Jay Wright, his career didn’t get off to a fabulous start to say the least. When he started his coaching career at Hofstra in 1994-95, the Pride won just 10 games. In his second season at Hofstra, Wright won just nine games. Under Wright, Hofstra wouldn’t have a winning season until Wright’s fourth season in 1997-98.
It took Wright four seasons to build Hofstra into an NCAA Tournament worthy program. In his sixth and seventh years at Hofstra, Wright was able to lead Hofstra to back-to-back conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. Following the 2000-2001 season, Wright left the Pride to go to Villanova.
Once Wright landed at Villanova, it wasn’t immediate success. While he won 19 games in his first season with the Big East program, the Wildcats wouldn’t get to the NCAA Tournament with Wright until the 2004-2005 season. Since then, Villanova under the guidance of Wright has missed just one NCAA Tournament, that being in 2011-12.
Since missing the tournament in 2011-12, Villanova has almost been impossible to beat to say the least. For any college program that’s the goal and some no matter how hard they try will never reach that goal because programs like Villanova don’t come around every few years, they come around once a decade or maybe once every 20-years.
Chances are Georgia Tech won’t reach the level VIllanova is on in terms of long-term success, but there is no reason the Jackets can’t become a top team in the ACC and a tournament team year in and year out.
When Josh Pastner arrived at Tech, everyone knew there wasn’t going to be a ton of success in the short term. He signed a six-year contract and the goal was by year six of the contract, the Yellow Jackets would be a tournament team. Two years in, the program is in a good spot all things considering and is just one recruiting break away from potentially being a tournament bound team. That break may happen tomorrow, a year from now, or even two years, but until then fans will have to stay patient, if the Jackets return to the top of the ACC in the next 5-10 years under Pastner then all the years of being patient will be well worth it.