Dave Leitao (pronounced Lay-Toe) joined the Tulsa men's basketball coaching staff in April of 2014. He spent the previous two years as an assistant coach at Missouri with Frank Haith.
At Missouri, Leitao assisted with both the guards and the forwards, helping the Tigers rank among the national leaders in both offensive efficiency and rebounding. Leitao provided a veteran presence on the bench as Missouri topped 20 wins for the sixth consecutive year in 2013-14 and in the 2012-13 campaign returned to NCAA Tournament play despite having just one returning player from the previous NCAA tournament season. During his tenure, Missouri made two trips to the NCAA Tournament and one NIT appearance. Leitao was a conference championship head coach during stops at DePaul and Virginia. Among his many accomplishments on the hardwood are league titles at DePaul (2004) and Virginia (2007), as well as 22 career postseason appearances, including 13 NCAA Tournaments. His championship pedigree includes the 1999 National Championship at the University of Connecticut, where he served as the Associate Head Coach under Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun. Leitao played collegiately under Calhoun at Northeastern University. Leitao began his coaching career as a full-time assistant under Calhoun at his alma mater in 1984, helping Northeastern to two NCAA berths and a combined 48-14 record. The pair then moved to the University of Connecticut where the team grew from a 9-19 mark in year one (1986-87) to making seven consecutive postseason trips -- four NCAA Tournaments, two NCAA Sweet 16's and an NCAA Elite Eight.
Leitao earned his first head coaching position at Northeastern from 1994-96 where he won 18 games as a first-year head coach. He then returned to UConn as Associate Head Coach in 1996, where the Huskies made six more postseason trips highlighted by the 1999 NCAA Championship season.
At UConn, Leitao assisted in the recruitment of several future NBA performers including the likes of Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Emeka Okafor, Donyell Marshall, Clifford Robinson, Jake Voskuhl, Travis Knight, Scott Burrell, Caron Butler, Khalid El-Amin, Tate George, Donny Marshall and Kevin Ollie.
Following a 2001-02 campaign in which the Huskies went 27-6, Leitao returned to the sidelines as a head coach at DePaul. The Blue Demons posted a 58-34 record in his three years in Chicago and advanced to three consecutive postseasons. His 2004 squad shared the Conference USA title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, while his 2005 Blue Demons reached the NIT second round.
In Leitao's first season, the Blue Demons were one of college basketball's most improved clubs going from a 9-19 mark (2-12 in C-USA) the year before his arrival to 16-13 (8-8 C-USA) in his first season. Leitao's league crown and NCAA berth at DePaul remain the most recent in that program's history.
Leitao then took over the head coaching duties at Virginia in 2005-06 and led the program to three postseason trips, including the league title in 2007. That 2007 Cavaliers squad was pegged eighth in the ACC preseason poll, but shared the conference title with North Carolina and recorded the most league wins (11) since 1994-95. That team also topped Albany in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking Virginia's first NCAA appearance since 2001 and first NCAA win since 1995. Leitao was named the 2007 ACC Coach of the Year for the team's accomplishments.
Leitao has used an attention to detail and defensive mindset as a catalyst for success at each stop. Virginia led the ACC (for league games) in field goal percentage defense (.408) in 2007 and consistently ranked among the league's better rebounding clubs.
Leitao earned his degree from Northeastern in 1982. He and his wife, Joyce, have three sons: David, Reese and Tyson.
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