by Matt Kelly
appointed athletic director Craig Littlepage aanswers questions
during a press conference in Bryant Hall.
Littlepage is named new AD
Littlepage has been named athletics
director, the first African American in the Atlantic Coast Conference
to hold the post. He succeeds Terry Holland, who stepped down
at the end of May to become a special assistant to U.Va. President
John T. Casteen III.
50, had served as interim director since June and held the same
post for six months after Jim Copeland resigned in 1994. Littlepage
has been a member of the U.Va. athletics administration since
1990, most recently as senior associate director.
search committee and I were impressed early in the search process
by Craigs standing among colleagues at peer institutions,
within the ACC and the NCAA, and among our coaches and student-athletes,
Casteen said. All identified his consistently strong leadership
as a core element of the success we have enjoyed under both Jim
Copeland and Terry Holland.
the end, after we looked carefully at a wide range of options,
Craig emerged as our unanimous choice. Over the past decade he
has stood out for his commitment to the overall well-being of
our student-athletes, particularly their academic progress, and
for his thoughtful, collegial approach to complex issues. Craig
solves problems, believes in the Universitys values, and
embodies the concept of excellence that we try to promote in all
that we undertake.
has the ability to lead our athletics programs to the next level,
while at the same time maintaining our commitment to success in
the classroom. The coming years pose challenges of several kinds,
including financial challenges. I believe that Craigs experience
prepares him in unique ways to continue building on the foundations
already laid, while addressing larger issues that confront all
major collegiate athletics programs, Casteen said.
to the tee
made one of his first decisions on his second day as AD
naming womens golf the 25th intercollegiate
sport at U.Va. The team will begin competing during the
2003-04 academic year.
a great extent, womens golf at the University of Virginia
is possible as a result of the generosity of William C.
Eacho Jr., whose gift of $1.4 million helped create an endowment
for funding womens golf scholarships, Littlepage
the addition of womens golf, Virginia will have 13
intercollegiate sports for women and 12 for men. Golf is
one of the mens sports.
has served on a number of committees and governing bodies of both
the Atlantic Coast Conference and the National Collegiate Athletics
Association. He recently was named to a three-year term on the
NCAA Committee on Infractions, which deals with major violations
of NCAA rules. From 1997-2000, he was a member of the NCAA Academics,
Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet, chairing that groups
recruiting and student-athlete reinstatement subcommittees.
is a special moment for me, and I am thrilled with the opportunity
to take over the leadership of the Department
of Athletics at this time in our programs history,
Littlepage said. We have big challenges ahead, but with
the commitment and continued hard work of our staff, student-athletes,
faculty and loyal followers, we can continue to build and reach
for higher levels of success, both academically and athletically.
an Aug. 21 press conference, Littlepage spoke emotionally about
the significance of becoming the first African-American athletic
director in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. First
noting that his 12-year-old son, Murray, had recently expressed
a desire to become an athletic director, he halted a few moments
to compose himself, then said he had been hearing from aspiring
black administrators around the country.
said, Craig, if you cant get hired at the University
of Virginia, what does that say about our goals? You have to get
hired they cant hire anybody else, he
1973 graduate of the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton
School with a degree in economics, he has had extensive collegiate
coaching experience. He was head mens basketball coach at
Penn (1982-85) and Rutgers (1985-88) and an assistant coach at
Villanova, Yale and, for eight years, at U.Va. under Holland (1976-82
says his top priorities are to keep the department financially
healthy estimating that the University needs to increase
its annual athletics budget by up to $9 million to reach the level
of the top-10 athletic programs in the country and to maintain
athletics director, he succeeds Holland, who stepped down at the
end of May to become a special assistant to Casteen, focusing
on plans for a new arena and special events center at U.Va.
is married to the former Margaret Murray of Charlottesville. The
couple has three children, Erica (15), Murray (12) and Erin (10).
the press conference, Casteen expressed appreciation for the prompt,
thorough work of the search committee. I am grateful to
the committee for the seriousness with which it approached this
task, for the care with which it has exercised its duties and
obviously for its success in bringing forward the person we are
consensus was that we have in-house here at the University one
of the best athletic administrators in the country.