December 12, 2007
Dave Leitao has brought the Cavaliers a long way in his two-plus seasons as the head coach at Virginia. After a .500 season and an NIT first round exit in 2005-2006, Leitao guided the Wahoos to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years a season ago. The head coach attributes a big part of the success to team chemistry.
Leitao's favorite part of his job besides his work on the court is counseling his players. He says that being a mentor and a friend is a key part in building a successful program. His ways appear to be paving the road to another successful season, as Virginia is out to a 7-2 start, and has another week to prepare for its next contest against Hampton on December 19.
The man at the head of the Virginia program has the resume to back up his beliefs when it comes to building a team. In addition to the NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago, Leitao earned ACC Coach of the Year honors, after leading the Cavaliers to a share of the conference's regular season title. After being upset in the first round of the ACC Tournament, Leitao had his team regrouped and ready to go the next week at the NCAA's.
Sean Singletary buys into Leitao's philosophy. The senior All-American is quick to point out that his head coach is a big reason for his return to Virginia. Singletary credits Leitao with much of his success on the court as well.
Click on the above video link to view part two of our series, Dave Leitao: Beyond the Bench.