Dave Leitao hired to coach DePaul men's basketball team a second time

Dave Leitao hired to coach DePaul men's basketball team a second time
Dave Leitao, then head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers, questions a call during the 2009 ACC Tournament. Leitao is returning to DePaul where he coached from 2002-2005. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Dave Leitao, who coached DePaul from 2002-05, has been brought back to lead the men's basketball program.

Leitao, who led the Blue Demons to three postseason appearances in his first stint, left DePaul to take over at Virginia. He was there for four years and was Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year in his second season. He was an assistant to Frank Haith the last three seasons at Missouri and Tulsa.


Before coaching DePaul, Leitao was associate head coach to Jim Calhoun at Connecticut for six seasons, including the 1999 NCAA championship. He was head coach at Northeastern from 1994-96.

In nine seasons as a head coach, Leitao holds a record of 143-129, including 58-34 in his first time at DePaul.

Leitao replaces Oliver Purnell who resigned this month after leading the Blue Demons to a 54-105 record in his five seasons, including a 15-75 mark in the Big East.

DePaul hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2004 and last made the NIT in 2007.

Barnes leaves Texas

An emotional Rick Barnes fought back tears in saying goodbye to Texas after 17 years Sunday, insisting he's grateful for his time with Longhorns and isn't bitter about being fired.

"The wins and losses are fleeting, but it's the relationships that matter," Barnes said at a 40-minute farewell news conference in Austin, Texas. "We know as a coach, this whole thing is about players. We've been blessed as a staff here to have so many players who have affected our lives."

But Barnes also revealed that he had been told by Athletic Director Steve Patterson that he would be back for another season after Texas lost to Butler in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"Some things changed," Barnes said.

Barnes confirmed Patterson told him a few days ago he had to fire staff or be fired himself. That ultimatum was leaked to the media Thursday, publicly turning up the pressure on Barnes and his assistants. Barnes blamed the leaks on the athletic department but didn't name any individuals behind them.

"I was shocked," by the leaks, Barnes said. "I couldn't do that. That would be me saying this is about me. I've been carried by a lot of people here. We're in this together."

Barnes said his staff offered to quit but he refused to let them.

Bruins win again

UCLA defeated St. Mary's, 82-66, at Pauley Pavilion to advance to the women's NIT semifinals.


The Bruins (17-18) got 13 points apiece from junior Nirra Fields and freshman Jordin Canada to set up a game at Michigan (20-14) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT. The other semifinal features Temple (20-16) at West Virginia (22-14).

The championship game is Saturday.