Villanova officials say former head basketball coach John “Jack” Kraft, who helmed the Wildcats to 238 victories over a dozen seasons and a 1971 title game appearance, died Thursday in New Jersey. He was 93.
Kraft joined Villanova in 1961 and led the team to a 21-7 record and the first of six appearances in the NCAA tournament. In 1971, a 23-6 record got the team to the Final Four for the first time since 1939 and to the title game, a 68-62 loss to UCLA.
Head coach Jay Wright in a statement called Kraft “a winner, a gentleman and an outstanding coach.”
Kraft, who later coached at the University of Rhode Island, was honored at the Pavilion in 2011, 50 years after his first win, before many former players.