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DePaul fires head coach Dave Leitao

The Blue Demons went 66-113 in Leitao’s second stint with the program.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons have agreed to part ways with head coach Dave Leitao, per multiple reports.

Leitao, who was hired by former athletic director Jean Lenti-Ponsetto, was brought in over names like Bobby Hurley and Bryce Drew in 2015 in order to try and lead the Blue Demons back to the NCAA Tournament, a feat accomplished by Leitao in his first stint with the school (2002-05).

Instead, it was more of the same for the Blue Demons, as Leitao led DePaul to a 66-113 record in his six seasons, finishing higher than last in the conference just once, when they finished ninth in his first season.

It appeared possible that the Blue Demons turned a corner last season, going 12-1 in nonconference play, but Big East play brought the same frustrating results, leading to a 16-16 record in the ultimately shortened season.

DePaul issued the following statement Monday afternoon.

CHICAGO – DePaul Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy announced today a change in the leadership of the men’s basketball program. Dave Leitao has been relieved of his duties as head coach and finishes his DePaul coaching career after nine seasons in Lincoln Park between two stints.

“After evaluating where our men’s basketball program is currently and where we envision it to be moving forward, a decision was made to make a change in the head coaching position,” said Peevy. “We want to thank Dave for his many contributions to the program, including his mentorship of our student athletes on and off the floor, his commitment to DEI efforts within our athletics department and support of our university-wide Vincentian mission. We will conduct a national search beginning immediately for our next head coach. I’m committed to elevating our program to where we are still competing during this time of year.”

Leitao went 127-146 in nine seasons as head coach at DePaul that includes three seasons from 2002-05 and the last six seasons. In 15 years as a college head coach, he holds a record of 212-241. The Blue Demons went 5-14 this season while Leitao led the program to 19 wins in 2018-19 and 16 victories in 2019-20 before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DePaul has started its national search for the 15th head coach in program history.