Dave Leitao hired as assistant coach for Mizzou men’s basketball team

Dave Leitao

Dave Leitao, former Virginia and DePaul coach Dave Leitao has been hired as an assistant coach at Missouri.

“What a great complement to the University of Missouri to bring in a coach the caliber of Dave Leitao to work with our student-athletes,” said Missouri coach Frank Haith in a media release from the university. “Dave was a guy I really enjoyed competing against in the Atlantic Coast Conference because you knew his teams would play tough, physical and would really attack you every possession.

Leitao, most recently the coach of the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League,  won conference championships at DePaul (2004) and Virginia (2007). He has 21 career postseason appearances, including 12 NCAA Tournaments and a 1999 national championship as associate head coach with Connecticut.

Leitao replaces Ernie Nestor, who took an assistant coaching job at Navy. The hiring completes Haith’s coaching staff.

Leitao (pronounced lay-toe) was the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year, leading Virginia to an 11-5 conference and 21-11 overall record.

“Dave brings a wealth of knowledge to our program,” Haith said. “He was mentored by one of college basketball’s all-time greats in Coach (Jim) Calhoun and he helped recruit key pieces for their NCAA championship team in 1998-99.

Leitao also brings a wealth of experience, including:

• 26 seasons of coaching experience
• 143 career wins as a head coach
• Three 20-win seasons
• Two league titles and
• Six postseason tournament appearances

“I really appreciate this opportunity to join Coach Haith’s staff here at Missouri and can’t imagine a better place to continue my coaching career than here at Mizzou,” Dave Leitao said.

“Missouri is a national program with tremendous success, incredible facilities, passionate fans and first class leadership of Mike Alden and Chancellor Brady Deaton. You see everything that has taken place on this campus over recent years and you can’t help but to be excited about the momentum we have going forward.”

The 6-foot-7 New Bedford, Mass., native played forward at Northeastern University (1978-82) and had a 79-34 record. Over his four seasons Leitao averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds and was known for his defensive intensity, which has fueled his coaching focus. In 1982 the team advanced to the NCAA tournament, beating St. Joseph’s in the first round then losing to third-seeded Villanova in triple overtime.

“I’ve known Dave so long, he is practically a member of my family,” Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun said. “As a player, he was a great leader and he came with me from Day One at UConn to help build a program, so he obviously shares in an awful lot of the success we’ve been fortunate enough to achieve.

“He went on to become a tremendous head coach, winning an ACC championship and being named ACC Coach of the Year,” Calhoun continued.

“But besides being an outstanding coach, he’s an outstanding person — one of the best people I’ve ever been involved with as a player, a coach, and a close friend,” said Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun.

“We are really excited to have another experienced coach such as Dave in our program and feel like he will really help the overall development of our team,” Haith said. “He gives us another veteran presence on the bench and his experience as a head coach, coupled with his experience competing and winning championships, will help mold our young men for the future.”


Assistant Coach: Northeastern (1984-86)
1984-85                   22-9                         NCAA First Round
1985-86                   26-5                         NCAA First Round
Two Seasons                           48-14 (.774)

Assistant Coach: Connecticut (1986-94)
1986-87                   9-19
1987-88                   20-14                       NIT Champions
1988-89                   18-13                       NIT Quarterfinals
1989-90                   31-6                         NCAA Elite Eight
1990-91                   20-11                       NCAA Sweet 16
1991-92                   20-10                       NCAA Second Round
1992-93                   15-13                       NIT First Round
1993-94                   29-5                         NCAA Sweet 16
Eight Seasons          162-91 (.640)

Head Coach: Northeastern (1994-96)
1994-95                   18-11
1995-96                   4-24
Two Seasons           22-35 (.386)

Associate Head Coach: Connecticut (1996-2002)
1996-97                   18-15                       NIT Semifinals
1997-98                   32-5                         NCAA Elite Eight
1998-99                   34-2                         NCAA Champions
1999-00                   25-10                       NCAA Second Round
2000-01                   20-12                       NIT Second Round
2001-02                   27-7                         NCAA Elite Eight
Six Seasons              156-51 (.754)

Head Coach: DePaul (2002-05)
2002-03                   16-13                       NIT First Round
2003-04                   22-10                       NCAA Second Round
2004-05                   20-11                       NIT Second Round
Three Seasons         58-34 (.630)

Head Coach: Virginia (2005-09)
2005-06                   15-15                       NIT First Round
2006-07                   21-11                       NCAA Second Round
2007-08                   17-16                       CBI Semifinals
2008-09                   10-18     
Four Seasons           63-60 (.512)

Overall Career (College)                         509-285 (.641)                        25 Seasons
Head Coach Career (College)
                 143-129 (.526)                        Nine Seasons


This story includes information from MU Athletics.


One response to “Dave Leitao hired as assistant coach for Mizzou men’s basketball team

  1. Vincent Anderson July 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Dave is one of the finest people that a team could be affiliated, he is a leader of men and winner in life!

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