DePaul basketball coach Dave Leitao gets a contract extension through 2023-24

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DePaul men’s basketball coach Dave Leitao received a contract extension through 2023-24, the school announced Thursday.

Financial terms were not released. Leitao’s contract was set to expire after the 2019-20 season.

The athletic department announced in September it was working on contract extension for Leitao, who finished his fifth season in his second stint with DePaul. He previously coached at DePaul from 2002-05, leading the Blue Demons to their most recent NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005.

DePaul is 64-98 in Leitao’s second stint.

“We are happy to reach an agreement to continue the improvement and stability that Coach Leitao has instilled in our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said in a statement. “His vision of academic excellence, athletic excellence and community service mirrors DePaul’s mission in developing outstanding student-athletes and future leaders in our society.”

DePaul completed a strange season, starting 12-1 but finishing 16-16 overall. The Blue Demons recorded impressive victories against Iowa, Texas Tech and Butler but unraveled during the Big East Conference season.

They finished last in the Big East at 3-15. It was the Blue Demons’ fourth-straight season with the worst record in the conference.

DePaul won its first Big East tournament game against Xavier before the league canceled its postseason play because of concerns about the coronavirus.

DePaul’s fan base has shown impatience with the team’s NCAA Tournament drought and lack of advancement in the conference standings.

Rumors swirled about Leitao’s status after the program received NCAA penalties last offseason, putting the Blue Demons on three years of probation for a recruiting violation and suspending Leitao from coaching the first three games of the season.

DePaul strongly defended Leitao after the NCAA’s ruling and expressed disappointment in the committee. In July, Ponsetto called Leitao a “a man of character and integrity who has the support of the administration in leading our men’s basketball program.”

The Blue Demons have upgraded their talent in recent years under Leitao.

Their 2019 recruiting class was No. 32 in’s composite rankings, their highest since 2007.

Four-star forward Romeo Weems, who picked DePaul over Michigan State, headlines the class, and DePaul added transfer Charlie Moore from Kansas. Junior Paul Reed had a strong enough season that he recently declared he would enter the NBA draft. Max Strus, who played for Leitao from 2017-18, competes in the G League on a two-way contract with the Windy City Bulls.


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