Unless you've been chained in the crawl space, you've no doubt heard that everyone's favorite Big East punching bag, the woebegone Blue Demons of DePaul, made a splash today by hiring their own former coach, Dave Leitao, to replace Oliver Purnell at the helm of their men's basketball program. There were rumors that young coaches like Buffalo's Bobby Hurley and Valpo's Bryce Drew were interested in the position, but this being DePaul, the choice was a guy who already bolted from Lincoln Park once.
Since this move seems to indicate that DePaul is watching the purse strings pretty closely, we thought we'd pitch in and save the Demons a couple of bucks by updating their press release from when Leitao was originally hired in 2002 (h/t to friend of show @BBaranowski for finding it).
No need for attribution or to thank us, DePaul. Consider this our gift to you:
Dave Leitao, the architect of the DePaul men's basketball program's remarkable rise from the ashes at the beginning of the 21st century, was re-named DePaul's head coach today. Leitao, who becomes the 13th head coach in DePaul history, succeeds Oliver Purnell, who succeeded Jerry Wainwright, who succeeded Dave Leitao, who became the 10th head coach in DePaul history 10 years ago.
"What do you mean we hired a new coach?" said DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. "Ollie left? Like, in the last couple weeks? I guess I haven't checked my email in a while.
"Jeff!" Ponsetto continued, popping her head out of her office and shouting down the hall. "Ollie left? Did you tell me this already?"
"Dave brings some very valuable assets to our program," DePaul University President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M. said. "For one, we've still got three boxes of his business cards from 2005. For another, he's already got a university email address, so IT doesn't have to set up a new one for him."
"The best part of this, for us, is that Dave's old office is sitting exactly like he left it ten years ago," said Gene Zdziarski, PhD, vice president for Student Affairs. "It turns out that Wainwright was legally dead the entire time he was coaching here, so he never used it, and then Purnell was living and working out of his car. Just said he felt more comfortable that way."
"We are incredibly happy to bring whoever it is we hired into the DePaul athletic family as our men's basketball coach," Ponsetto said after receiving a 15-second briefing on the situation. "I've never met the man, of course, but I'm extremely confident he is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the nation and we are excited to see his work with the Blue Demon program.
"Wait. Did you say 'Dave Leitao'?"
Following Purnell's surprising resignation two weeks ago, DePaul quickly engaged in a nationwide coaching search, employing a search firm to assist in identifying the ideal candidate to lead the men's basketball team. That exhaustive effort culminated in the re-hiring of Leitao, after the search firm concluded that he was probably mostly kind of kidding when he sent the DePaul administration a tersely-worded letter of resignation a decade ago, which consisted primarily of a Polaroid of Leitao, extending his middle finger, wearing a "TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT" trucker hat.
Sources were unsure what, exactly, Leitao did after leaving DePaul in 2005, but they unanimously agreed he was probably really, really good at it.
Leitao graduated from Northeastern in 1983 with BS degree in Business Administration. He and his wife Joyce know what they're getting in to, so don't say we didn't warn them.