Saint Joseph’s University head coach Phil Martelli did a pretty selfless act to recognize a fellow Philadelphia-area head coach. Martello gave his coach of the year award to Villanova head coach Jay Wright.
The Big 5 held its annual award dinner on Monday night, where it honors those that had a good year. Three of the Big 5 teams advanced to the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Temple and Saint Joe’s were eliminated early on — and the Wildcats won the National Championship over the historic North Carolina Tar Heels with a buzzer-beater by Kris Jenkins. However, at The Palestra dinner, Wright did not receive the Coach of the Year honors.
Saint Joe’s took home the most awards as DeAndre Bembry took home the Big 5 Player of the Year and Martelli the Coach of the Year. Bembry has decided to enter the NBA Draft — and is considered a legit NBA prospect, whose expected to go in the first-round.
While Saint Joe’s performed better than expected, the Wildcats was expected to be the better team all season from the area. They were ranked 9th and 11th from two different, major preseason polls.
“Seriously, there’s not one person in here that would say, ‘Big 5 Coach of the Year? It must be Phil Martelli! It’s not Jay Wright!’,” Martelli said. “The man won the National Championship. I’m cool. We had a hell of a year. But Philadelphia, I’m going to save you from yourself.
“Threw snowballs at Santa Clause. Threw batteries at J.D. Drew. Cheered when Michael Irvin got a concussion. And did not give Jay Wright the Coach of the Year — the year he won the National Championship.”
Then, later, Martelli added, “Jay this is yours. I’m going to borrow it for an hour and if I can get into your gated community in Newtown Square, I’ll drop it off.”
He then put a sticky-note on the trophy with Jay Wright, as you can see in the photo.
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