20 thoughts on “UVA Fires Dave Leitao”

  1. Fox Sports says that Dave Leitao has been fired by the Cavaliers. He went from ACC Coach of the Year a few years ago to 11-5 this year.

    Not quite… on all accounts.

    It was more like 10-18 and 4-12 in the ACC.

    Also, the official report, including on FOX Sports, is that Leitao “resigned Monday as Virginia’s men’s basketball coach, the school announced in a press release. The move is effective immediately.”

  2. I got all of that directly from Fox Sports. As you can see, they’ve changed their story and—unethically, IMHO—failed to note any of their changes. I’ll make some changes to this in a few hours, which should give Fox a chance to pick a story and stick with it.

    This is what I get for trusting Fox, I suppose.

  3. He was probably told he could resign or get fired.
    It’s a business and he just didn’t get it done in the win column.

  4. If you can resign and still get $2.1 million as a thank you bonus, I am going to become a coach and then resign after a bad season.

  5. Usually, coaches have severance packages spelled out in their contracts before they agree to the employment.

  6. He was almost certainly told to leave on his own accord and accept a buyout of $2.1 million, or be fired.

    And the 11-5 mark you are quoting would be Coach Leitao’s ACC record in UVa’s best season under him. But this sort of move does put AD Craig Littlepage under the microscope. If four seasons of up and down play is enough to drop the basketball coach, why is Al Groh still in charge of the football team?

  7. I’ve updated this story. Whereas it did read:

    Fox Sports says that Dave Leitao has been fired by the Cavaliers. He went from ACC Coach of the Year a few years ago to 11-5 this year.

    it now reads:

    Fox Sports says that Dave Leitao has resigned from the Cavaliers. He went from ACC Coach of the Year a few years ago to finishing next-to-last this year.

    Everything here was as reported by Fox Sports, who apparently got at least the two most basic facts of the story wrong. Unlike Fox, I call it up when I correct stories.

  8. Thanks Waldo – for your reporting and your updating. This is one place I can go for news and have a sense of trust in the post/sources/followup/etc.

  9. This is excellent news, but not as excellent as a headline reading “UVA Fires Craig Littlepage.”

  10. I understand that people are unhappy with Littlepage but I must ask if he doesn’t get credit for everything else. We have two new state of the art facilities that were built on budget and on time that do the job very well. He was there from the design and execution of the JPJ. It is one of the best arena in the nation.

    The non revenue sports tennis, baseball,lacrosse, and many others are some of the best in the nation. He hired the baseball and tennis coach and they are great picks. He has keep good programs good and made bad ones better.
    We all know that Groh wasn’t hired by Littlepage but Leiato was. So the revenue sports do need to be improved. Groh son was fired and a lot of changes have been made and this is probably he’s last year if he can’t get it done. With all that for many people Littlepage has to get this new basketball hire right or his job is probably in trouble

  11. Thank you, Perlogik, for reminding us that UVa sports encompasses more than just men’s bball and football. We have ASTONISHING, astonishing quality in lax, men’s tennis, swimming/diving, and both soccer programs (fans of the men’s soccer program would disagree, but objectively speaking we’re really good). I know as well as anyone that men’s bball and football are the flagship sports at any serious athletics school, but I wish Littlepage would be assessed on the whole job, not just on the two parts of it that are undoubtedly the hardest to manage.

  12. Can you please help us understand Littlepage’s contribution to baseball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, etc? What responsibility does he have for these programs? I’m not sure about all of them, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t hired any baseball, lacrosse, or soccer coaches.

    He had little if anything to do with the Scott Stadium expansion, and very little to do with JPJ – he was there at the end for JPJ, but he only gets an assist for that. Terry Holland gets the win there.

    As for the premise that Littlepage can handle everything except the most visible, expensive, challenging, and revenue-generating sports, that’s why he did a good job as ASSISTANT Athletic Director. Some/many people just aren’t cut out to be the big boss. It seems like he’s one of them. I know if any of us weren’t able to manage the most important 20% of our jobs we’d all be looking for new jobs before long!

  13. “What responsibility does he have for these programs?” That seems kind of an odd question…he’s the athletic director. Doesn’t that mean he has ALL the responsibility for those programs, as the ultimate boss? If he is responsible in part for the poor performance of men’s bball and fball, isn’t he (logically) partly responsible for the success of the programs that perform well? Your response seems to want to have it both ways — the extent that we value the non-revenue sports, you don’t want to give him credit (“what responsibility does he have, please help us understand”), but then the second part says if we admit he DOES a good job with those sports, then you remind us that we don’t give a damn about 80% of his job. So, he’s not actually contributing to those sports, and if he IS contributing, who cares.

    Moreover, the idea that bball and fball ARE the most important 20% AND that the only standard of success in that 20% is a VT-caliber fball program and a Duke-caliber bball team is also debatable, I’d say. (I’m not saying that you, Big Al, have set VT and Duke/UNC as the goals, but most people I hear make this argument do

  14. Craig Littlepage was named AD in 2001 and Littlepage has been a member of UVa’s athletics administration since 1990. He served six years (1995-2001) as senior associate director of athletics, managing all aspects of the athletics department’s day-to-day operations. Before that, he spent four years as associate director of athletics for programs. He was a big part of the expansion for Scott Stadium. Since JPJ broke ground May 30, 2003. He clearly gets 100% credit as AD from planning to completion of the JPJ.
    Terry Holland doesn’t get the win Big Al and you shot an airball with your last post

    So now go back to the athletic website and see all the coaches hired since 2001- yep they are his. And then go and check our ranking in the Sears directors Cup we currently rate the 11th best athletic program in the country.

  15. Brian Boland (tennis) looks to have been hired in 02? his page at uva’s athletics site said he was at indiana state until 02, which would make him Craig’s hire, right? And Brian O’Connor, baseball, “was named the head baseball coach at Virginia on July 8, 2003”, which would make him Craig’s hire too (from the athletics website). Also, does Craig get a tip of the hat for retention of some of our coaches? I would think that lots of programs have wanted Steve Swanson and Dom Starsia, but they’ve stayed here — any credit to the AD for keeping those guys here?

  16. “What responsibility does he have for these programs?” That seems kind of an odd question…he’s the athletic director.

    Did he hire any of those coaches? Has he had to make any decisions regarding the development of those programs? Has he done anything more relevant than ensuring the coaches received big raises when their contracts were up, or when they were being courted by other schools (which is, frankly, something any of us can do if we have a large enough bank account)?

    From 2001 until the fall of 2004 Holland was a “Special Assistant to the President” and focused almost exclusively on fund raising and planning for the new arena that he had been working toward for many years. It was his vision and connections as much as anything that brought the plans to fruition. Littlepage DID, however, carry the ball from U-Hall to JPJ, so I guess he deserves credit for that.

    The stadium expansion was launched in 2000 while Holland was AD, and all planning was completed before he stepped down. Again, he gets the credit for raising the cash and for forcing the plan through. Littlepage, again, deserves an assist.

    Littlepage did hire the baseball, tennis, and golf coaches. He did not hire the Lacrosse coach (mens or womens), the swimming coach, the soccer coach (mens or womens), he may or may not have hired the tennis coach (who got the job in 2001). So the credit he gets for those programs is marginal at best.

    Littlepage does, without question, deserve credit for the awesome plan to force football fans to dig a lot deeper into their pockets to keep the seats and parking spaces they had held for generations. I guess that was easier than courting sponsors or raising money the old fashioned way. “Raising the Cost of Admission” is one thing he can put on his resume with pride!

    I guess the key fact here is that his sport is supposed to be basketball. He was a basketball coach (though, again, Holland was making the big decisions – is there a pattern here?). Yet the basketball program has been by ACC standards a dismal failure during his tenure. The ACC record is 46-66, the overall record 101-98. The NCAA tournament record is 1-1, and the NIT record is 2-4. That is just not a defensible record.

    The basketball program, in a word, sucks. And he owns nearly all of that one all by himself (he didn’t hire Gillen, but he kept him about two years too long).

  17. Big Al unless you can prove that a coach gets a job at UVa WITHOUT the direct involvement and approval of the AD your argument is without merit. Of course he gets credit for the hires during his tenure and if those program do well that’s to his credit. Just like football and basketball horrible performance are on him as well. You were just plain wrong about tennis and baseball and no one claimed that he hired a lacrosse coach or the others. But come on, you give Littlepage marginal credit for tennis but full blame for basketball. That makes zero logical sense. It’s is Littlepage’s fault about Leiato . No one disagrees with you on that. The next coach’s hire will certainly affect Littlepage’s tenure by a large amount.

    If you had any idea how much Littlepage and Barry Parkhill worked traveling around the country to raise money for the JPJ you would know that your claim that the JPJ was Terry is utter nonsense. All the planning wasn’t done before two full years before groundbreaking. Barry Parkhill has much to do with the JPJ as anyone (he was the chief fundraiser and the practice court is named after him) but Littlepage still gets credit as the AD. They didn’t have the financial commitments until before the groundbreaking and I’m sure that Paul Tudor Jones $40 million got him some say in how he building was designed.

    You can certainly make the claim that if you can’t get revenue sports rights you need to be replace by someone who can. I think while that argument has some merit it must be balanced with all the other sports. I look at the fact that if we have a good spring we can end up in the top ten college sport programs in the nation. That is what Littlepage was charged with doing along with making revenue sport better.

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