It’s history: Virginia names Leitao men’s basketball coach
Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) – In a historic hiring, the University
of Virginia named Dave Leitao head coach of the men’s basketball program on
Leitao is the first African-American head coach in any sport in the history of
UVA, which was founded in March 1825. He is also the 10th head coach in the
100-year history of the school’s hoops program.
His contract is for five years and carries a base salary of $215,000. However,
the deal calls for total annual compensation of $925,000, including media and
Leitao, who replaces Pete Gillen at Virginia, served as the head basketball
coach at DePaul University for the last three years, compiling an overall
record of 58-34 with three post-season appearances. Last season, DePaul went
20-11 and advanced to the NIT.
“I am prepared to accept the challenge and responsibility of leadership that
awaits me at the University of Virginia,” said the 44-year-old Leitao. “I look
forward to establishing a standard of commitment to excellence that will
enhance the life of every student athlete who becomes a member of the Virginia
Prior to becoming the head coach at DePaul, Leitao was the associate head
coach at Connecticut for six seasons (1996-2002) under Hall-of-Fame head coach
Jim Calhoun. UConn had an overall record of 156-51 (.754) in those six
seasons, won the NCAA championship in 1999, and participated in a postseason
tournament each year.
Leitao spent two seasons (1994-96) as the head coach at his alma mater,
Northeastern University, and he was an assistant coach at Connecticut for
eight seasons from 1986-1994. He began his coaching career as an assistant
coach under Calhoun at Northeastern in 1984.
“I have admired Dave’s work for a long time, and I’m looking forward to
working with him as we enter a new era for Virginia basketball,” athletic
director Craig Littlepage said. “He has demonstrated success at DePaul as a
bench coach in the highly competitive Conference USA, and he’s always been one
of the best evaluators of talent and recruiters in the country.”
Virginia finished 14-15 in 2004-05 under Gillen, who stepped down as head
coach of the Cavaliers on March 14. Gillen had a 118-93 record in seven
seasons at the school.