The DePaul Blue Demons have hired a new head coach. Or should I say, have hired an old head coach to be their new head coach.
After leading the Blue Demons to three postseason appearances from 2002-2005, Dave Leitao is back commanding the sidelines in Chicago, and hopefully leading DePaul back to meaningful March basketball.
But excuse me while I interrupt myself in a feeble attempt to give a shit. This is the most uninspiring hire for a school and athletic director that desperately needed to make a splash.
Never a last chance but this was THE chance to change culture & direction of DePaul. But couldn't sell itself or vision to top candidates.
— Joe Henricksen (@joehoopsreport) March 29, 2015
OK, so maybe athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto did make an attempt at a splash. It was rumored that DePaul made overtures to Buffalo’s Bobby Hurley and also Bryce Drew from nearby Valparaiso, both of which turned the job down causing DePaul to settle for a secondary option.
But what doesn’t make sense though is that, after all the lengths Lenti Ponsetto went through hiring an out-of-state search firm, their process culminated with the re-hire of a former employee.
I reached out to Eli Hershkovich, DePaul radio’s play-by-play man for his thoughts on the process and ultimately the result. Like us, he was confused with the process,
That’s a metaphor for it being fucking terrible.
I mean, it’s not like Leitao has done anything since leaving DePaul in 2005 anyways. His time at Virginia was uninspiring, rendering him to the NBA D-League until getting a call from University of Missouri’s incumbent head coach Frank Haith.
After two years of success in Missouri with the remainder of Mike Anderson’s senior-laden roster, Leitao followed Haith to Tulsa after basically their entire staff was run out of Columbia.
And here we are, after one year at Tulsa that resulted in a 24-11 record culminating in a 21-point defeat at the hands of Murray State in the National Invitational Tournament, Leitao is being gift-wrapped a trip back to Chicago.
What type of uninspiring bullshit is this from a school, and more specifically an athletic department, in need of all the quixotic, visionary ambition available in the world.
Isn’t this the same Dave Leitao that left you at the first scent of money back in 2005? I swear Jean Lenti Ponsetto is that person who watches the same thing on Netflix over and over again because she’s too scared to try something new.
It doesn’t matter if she can quote it word-for-word, she knows that this same old song and dance is going to be the exact result she wants. It’s a comfort zone thing for a woman who has absolutely no idea what she’s doing in her current position.
But it’s nothing new; this has been a concern of ours for two years now. Only this time, the once-proud DePaul basketball program has been brought to the forefront of the national stage.
But Eli does bring up a very valid point about Dave Leitao spanning back to his time in Chicago in the early 2000’s.