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MU hires Dave Leitao as assistant coach

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star

Missouri coach Frank Haith rounded out his staff Friday by announcing the addition of former Virginia and DePaul coach Dave Leitao.

Leitao, who spent last season as a head coach with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, replaces Ernie Nestor, who left to take an assistant coaching job at Navy.

Leitao, 52, was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2007, when he led Virginia to a 21-11 record (11-5 in the league) and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Before that, he was the head coach at DePaul from 2002 to 2005 and was the associate head coach at UConn in 1999, when the Huskies won a national championship.

“Dave brings a wealth of knowledge to our program,” Haith said in a statement. "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. We are excited to have Dave join our family here at Mizzou."

Haith, who coached against Leitao while at the University of Miami, also said that Leitao's teams had a reputation for playing physical. Since his coaching career started in 1984, Leitao's teams have made 21 career postseason appearances, including 12 NCAA tournaments. This is his first major college coaching job since the 2008-2009 season, his last at Virginia.

“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,” Leitao said in a statement.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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