Blog Entry

Dave Leitao lands in Portland ... Maine

Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 3:18 pm
By Matt Norlander

When I took my connecting flight from Charlotte to Houston for this year's Final Four, there were a number of coaches on that plane. Plenty of coaches you'd know and recognize instantaneously. No one worked the bird harder that afternoon than Dave Leitao, though. The former Virginia and DePaul coach only sat down for takeoff and landing -- no exaggeration. He hopped row to row, standing with his arms leaned against the overhead bins, making conversation and keeping inroads with plenty of coaches.

"That man is desperately trying to get himself a job," an assisant coach next to me said.

Well, Leitao's found one, but it's not in a place most would guess. The 51-year-old will take the gig that was once rumored to be an option for Bruce Pearl: coaching the Maine Red Claws in the NBDL.

"He's one of the great guys of all time,'' said Carter Bernhardt, the director of marketing at Next Level. "You're getting a wonderful guy. He's a focused, wise individual.

"He just can't shake the coaching bug. He's wanted to get back into it.''

He'll replace Austin Ainge, who coached the Red Claws for their first two seasons before taking a position with the parent Boston Celtics.

Leitao was a much-praised assistant when he was at UConn, from 1996 to 2002. But he could never get his teams to have longterm success. His clubs at Northeastern, DePaul and Virginia combined to go 143-129. He was fired from Virginia after the 2008-09 season.

The team will announce Leitao's hire officially at a 11 a.m. press conference Thursday. Leitao's never coached at the pro level before; the NBDL qualifies as that. Is he out of the college game for the long haul? We'll see. In terms of coaching futures, running an NBDL team could be a fork in the road.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB

Since: Oct 6, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2011 12:40 pm

Dave Leitao lands in Portland ... Maine

This guy definately screwed DePaul over and since then they have been horrible. The grass looked greener at Virginia and I guess he didn't realize that there was no way he was going to be able to overcome the UNC's and Duke's of the conference.  I don't wish the guy ill will, but I wish he had stayed at DePaul.

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 11:25 am

Dave Leitao lands in Portland ... Maine

Leitao fucked up DePaul, under his watch, DePaul was doing pleasantly well and I have no doubt that if he was still coaching DePaul today, they would not be as bad as they are currently. This was the same guy who stated in a radio interview that he was going nowhere and then 3 weeks later, he leaves DePaul for the Virginia position. Why? Maybe it was money, b/c UVA is not a better job than DePaul.

But whatever the reason was, he failed at UVA and for that I don't feel sorry for the guy.

No sour grapes b/c I'm mostly an Illini fan but I did enjoy seeing other Illinois area universities have success and Leitao screwed that up when he screwed DePaul.

Since: Oct 14, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:31 pm

Dave Leitao lands in Portland ... Maine

Dave's definitely a great guy. I wish him great success.

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