PORTLAND – Dave Leitao, a former head men’s basketball coach at three NCAA Division I schools, is expected to be named the next head coach of the Maine Red Claws on Thursday.

The 51-year-old Leitao, a disciple of University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun, has a career record of 143-129 in stints at Northeastern University, DePaul and Virginia. He last coached in the 2008-09 season at Virgnia, where he resigned after a 10-18 season.

For the last two years, he has worked as a consultant for the Next Level Talent Management Agency, a sports and entertainment management firm in Virginia Beach, Va.

“He’s one of the great guys of all time,” said Carter Bernhardt, the director of marketing at Next Level. “You’re getting a wonderful guy. He’s a focused, wise individual.

“He just can’t shake the coaching bug. He’s wanted to get back into it.”

He’ll replace Austin Ainge, who coached the Red Claws for their first two seasons before taking a position with the parent Boston Celtics.

This will be Leitao’s first pro coaching job.

Leitao played for Calhoun at Northeastern and averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds for his career. He joined Calhoun’s staff after graduation and followed Calhoun to UConn.

The official announcement will come at a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine on Cumberland Avenue in Portland.



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