Virginia fires Leitao as coach

Fox Sports is reporting that Virginia has fired Men’s Head Basketball coach, Dave Leito after four years on the job. Link to Fox article. Of course, Leitao officially ‘resigns’ so that he can receive his more money for going away nicely ($2.1 million). Leitao made the NCAA tournament once in four seasons at Virginia.

This link will take you to a more detailed article from The Sporting News.

Leitao was hired four years ago by the Cavaliers and compiled a 63-60 record. Virginia, two years removed from a first-place regular-season finish in the ACC, was 10-18 overall and 4-12 in the ACC this season.

Leitao won ACC Coach of the Year after Virginia was 21-11 and tied North Carolina for first place in the league with a 11-5 record.

However, the Cavaliers were 17-16 two years ago and finished 10th in the conference and were next to last in the ACC this season.

Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel and Xavier’s Sean Miller are expected to be two names in the mix to replace Leitao.

I’ve got a million thoughts and not enough time to post them. I just can’t help but laugh at how diametrically opposite this type of behavior is from the manner in which Lee Fowler ‘manages’ the NC State Athletics Department. I will never forget Fowler telling everyone at NC State that ‘you can’t fire a coach who won Coach of the Year honors’.

This opening could potentially play a role in NC State’s future as Sean Miller is considered to be a coach who would be a mutual fit as potential future replacement for Sidney Lowe is Coach Lowe can’t get the Wolfpack program turned around in the next couple of seasons.

TSN has a little more in their article.

We will have more on this later.

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101 Responses to Virginia fires Leitao as coach

  1. MattN 03/16/2009 at 2:39 PM #


    I wish we have those kinds of balls…

  2. Par Shooter 03/16/2009 at 2:40 PM #

    I’m jealous.

  3. Noah 03/16/2009 at 2:43 PM #

    Congratulations to the Hoos for having an Ath. Dept. not run by dip****s. Must be nice.

  4. JeremyH 03/16/2009 at 2:46 PM #

    Bryant Stith approves.

    … while Bryant Feggins tries to dig shrapnel out of his arse with a spoon.

  5. BJD95 03/16/2009 at 2:47 PM #

    Wow, a proactive athletic department. Imagine that. Two consecutive sub-NIT seasons, and Crazy Dave is out the door.

    This also re-opens debate on who the biggest asshole is, among ACC head coaches. Leitao was the runaway winner, I imagine Coach K is back at the top.

    We know they flirted with Tubby Smith the last time – might it happen again? Anthony Grant would also make sense, but I expect him to take Alabama or Georgia instead.

  6. whitefang 03/16/2009 at 2:48 PM #

    Noah, in the same conversation that I was “told” Leitao was beyond in trouble, I was also told the Littlepage was “under a lot of pressure” in general. Standards are different than ours I believe.

  7. boonami 03/16/2009 at 2:49 PM #

    seriously, I’m jealous because their Ath Dept, just like UNC’s doesn’t waste time with failed experiments and has the stones to go out out and act. Now UVA will leap frog us with a quality hire and we’ll continue to lag.

  8. Rick 03/16/2009 at 2:57 PM #

    You mean some colleges expect results?


  9. boonami 03/16/2009 at 3:00 PM #

    yeah.. novel idea huh.

  10. ruffles31 03/16/2009 at 3:01 PM #

    A couple of months ago, AD Littlepage sent a letter to all UVA athletic donors saying that he understands their lack of success in the two revenue sports and he will get it fixed. Compare that to AD Fowler, and well, ugh.

    You need to also realize that they have had as little success in the major sports (football, MBB, WBB, and baseball) as we have had this decade.

    Since Fowler arrived, UVA and NCSU are two of the four BCS schools without a conference title in these sports. The other two, Arkansas and Texas Tech, have at least won division titles in football.

    So you can make the statement unbiasedly that the two worst athletic programs in the BCS are NCSU and UVA. However, UVA has won national titles and is a national power in some non-revenue sports that the Wolfpack does not offer, like lacrosse for example. Therefore, one can say that NCSU has the worst athletic program in the nation.

  11. buttPACKer 03/16/2009 at 3:02 PM #

    my eyes are green. . .

    WhyTF can we not EVER do anything until we are sitting in the shitter looking up?

  12. WTNY 03/16/2009 at 3:03 PM #

    This was year four for Leito, a fair amount of time IMO. One could argue five years for Lowe given how Fowler’s botched search basically cost Lowe the transitional recruiting class and his first recruiting class.
    I am hoping that this time next year we have a definitive answer — either we are dancing with no bubble-flirting or it is obvious we need to start fresh. I’m hoping for the former but BEGGING for a clear answer.

  13. boonami 03/16/2009 at 3:11 PM #

    It will be same shit different year for us. nothing ever changes except for the mediocrity of our program.

  14. Dan 03/16/2009 at 3:11 PM #

    Well, UVa is going to pass us by now as well. Throw Favors in at GT, and we have a good look at last place again. Jeff Capel is not happening though. If they don’t attempt to hire Anthony Grant they are idiots. But I do hope everyone leaves Grant alone, so we get a crack at him after Lowe dies at age 107 forcing son-of-Fowler to hire somebody.

    Fuck Lee Fowler. Seriously. Fuck him.

  15. wolfonthehill 03/16/2009 at 3:13 PM #

    Given that the recruiting class is already hurting (may be getting WORSE instead of better), I’d pull the plug on the Sid experiment right now. We’re not going to lose a bunch of blue-chippers… take your lumps & move on… unless you want to wait till Gillespie’s available next year.

  16. buttPACKer 03/16/2009 at 3:14 PM #

    I second that sentiment, Dan!

  17. wufpup76 03/16/2009 at 3:16 PM #

    “I’m jealous.”


    Where will Goodman (Fox Sports colleget basketball guy) and company’s “outrage” be? After all, this *is* a firing and not merely a “fans ran him off” situation.

    Oh, wait – I forgot that UVa has an AD with his hand on the pulse of things and he will go out of his way NOT to chastise his fanbase while making his University look more than just foolish. The media will do what you allow it to do, and if you give it no spin they will sink their collective teeth in you and ride for *all* it’s worth.

    I will however miss all the EXTREME closeups of Leitao’s face during games.

  18. LRM 03/16/2009 at 3:18 PM #

    So I guess we can expect general outrage from the talking heads at ESPN about how Virginia should have given Leitao longer?

  19. wufpup76 03/16/2009 at 3:19 PM #

    Fowler would probably call Leitao if and when our position came open again.

    “Dave, you were Coach of the Century one time in this league – I KNOW you have it in you again!!”

  20. buttPACKer 03/16/2009 at 3:19 PM #

    Being a State fan/alum is an eternity in PURGATORY!

    We are Prometheus, and LF really likes liver. (to mix the christian with the pagan)

  21. GAWolf 03/16/2009 at 3:21 PM #

    Some of this really sounds eerily familiar… (toward the end)

    In his second year, Leitao led by Sean Singletary and JR Reynolds, had an 11-5 conference record and a share of the ACC regular season title with North Carolina. On March 6, 2007, Leitao was voted as the 2007 ACC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Two days later, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) named Dave Leitao the 2007 District 5 Coach of the Year. In the NCAA Tournament, the Cavaliers defeated the University at Albany in the first round in an 84-57 rout. In the second round, Sean Singletary’s last-second shot bounced off the rim and the Cavaliers were defeated by the University of Tennessee in a 77-74 loss. The team completed the 2006-2007 season with a record of 21-11 (11-5 ACC).

    Leitao’s third season (2007-2008) was marked with close losses and early injuries to the team’s top two frontcourt players, Tunji Soroye and Laurynas Mikalauskas; the two injured players only appeared in two games and 16 games, respectively. The team attained a 4-3 record with Mikalauskas in the line-up versus a 1-8 record with him injured. Without these two players, the Cavaliers proceeded to lose seven games by two points or less or in overtime; the team ended the season with a record of 17-16 (5-11 ACC). However, as injured players began to return to the team, the Cavaliers won six of their final ten games, and advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural CBI postseason tournament.[1]

    In Leitao’s fourth year (2008-09), Virginia was the unanimous pick for last place in the ACC. In December, UVA looked as if they were going to be the suprise of the ACC with their first ACC win coming at Georgia Tech. However, Georgia Tech was the suprise finishing last with UVA coming in 11th place at 4-12 in the league. Leitao’s frustrated team was led by Sylven Landesberg who averaged 16.8 points per game and captured the ACC Rookie of the Year award. Other notables: Assane Sene missed early and late parts of the season with ankle injuries while showing some promise as a young defensive stopper. Sammy Zeglinski, Leitao’s first recruit, gained valuable experience at point guard after being redshirted in 2007-08 with an ankle injury. Overall, fans were quite discouraged with the lack of improvements and player rotation. 4th year Mamadi Diane’s career hit the lowest point during a 4 game stretch where he did not log a single minute. However, he did return for 23 points in his Senior Day finale and 24 points in the first round loss to BC in the ACC tournament. The pressure is on Leitao after his fourth year. With Tristan Spurlock and Jontel Evans signed for 2009. Leitao hopes to turn his fortunes around in his fifth year at the helm. He was fired as head coach on March 16, 2009 at the conclusion of a 10-18 season and 11th place finish in the ACC. The 10-18 season was Virginia’s worst season since the 1967-68 season, when the team posted a 9-17 record.

  22. 61Packer 03/16/2009 at 3:21 PM #

    I hope UVA hires Sidney Lowe as Leitao’s replacement.

  23. Clarksa 03/16/2009 at 3:25 PM #

    You guys can run off at the mouth claiming UVA is “proactive” and all that crap, but as I’m sure this was more of a Doherty or Amato type firing where if you are going to be a jackass, then you better win…Leito has had major problems with his players and numerous articles written about his behavior…losing just made it easier to fire him.

  24. Wulfpack 03/16/2009 at 3:28 PM #

    Just playing Devil’s Advocate, but Littlepage sure hasn’t moved much with Groh. Something tells me there is something else going on besides sub-par results for two years in a row.

  25. wufpup76 03/16/2009 at 3:29 PM #

    ^Fair point. (Clarksa and Wulf)

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