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Littlepage Named Athletics Director At University Of Virginia

August 21, 2001-- Craig Littlepage, interim athletics director at the University of Virginia since June, was named athletics director by U.Va. President John T. Casteen III at a press conference today.

Littlepage, 50, has been a member of the U.Va. athletics administration since 1990, most recently as senior associate director. In 1994-95 he served as interim director for six months after Jim Copeland resigned to become athletics director at Southern Methodist University.

"The search committee and I were impressed early in the search process by Craig’s 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.

"In 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 University’s values, and embodies the concept of excellence that we try to promote in all that we undertake.

"Craig 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 Craig’s 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.

Littlepage 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 group’s recruiting and student-athlete reinstatement subcommittees.

"This 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 program’s 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."

A 1973 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a degree in economics, he had extensive collegiate coaching experience before becoming an athletics administrator. He was head men’s 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 and 1988-90).

As 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.

Littlepage is married to the former Margaret Murray of Charlottesville. The couple has three children, Erica (15), Murray (12) and Erin (10).

At today’s 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 recognizing today."

Contact: Louise Dudley, (434) 924-1400

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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