PORTLAND — Dave Leitao, a Jim Calhoun disciple who has been the head coach at three NCAA Division I schools, is expected to be named the next coach of the Maine Red Claws at a press conference this morning.

The 51-year-old Leitao, who has a 143-129 career record at Northeastern University, DePaul and Virginia, replaces Austin Ainge, who coached the Red Claws for their first two seasons before joining the parent Boston Celtics as director of player personnel.

The Red Claws had no comment on Leitao’s hiring. They will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today at the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine on Cumberland Avenue in Portland to make the official announcement.

But Leitao’s hiring was confirmed by a couple of sources, including a friend in Virginia.

Leitao hasn’t coached since the 2008-09 season, when he resigned from Virginia after a 10-18 season. Since then he has worked as a consultant for the Next Level Talent Management Agency, a sports and entertainment management firm in Virginia Beach, Va. He was the lead consultant for the firm’s basketball division.

Carter Bernhardt, the director of marketing and business development at Next Level and a close friend, said Leitao was traveling to Portland on Tuesday.

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

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

This will be Leitao’s first pro coaching job. As a college coach, he was considered an exceptional defensive coach and an excellent teacher — two traits Jon Jennings, the president and general manager of the Red Claws, was looking for in his new coach. He was also known as an emotional coach on the sidelines, constantly pushing his players to perform.

Leitao, a 6-foot-7 forward, played for Calhoun at Northeastern, where he averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in his career. After graduating, he joined Calhoun’s staff as an assistant at NU, then followed Calhoun to join his staff at Connecticut in 1986.

He became Northeastern’s head coach in 1994, but lasted only two seasons, compiling a 22-35 record.

He returned to Connecticut as an assistant and was part of the Huskies’ 1999 national championship staff.

He became the head coach at DePaul, where he went 58-34 in three seasons, leading the Blue Demons to two NIT and one NCAA apperances.

Leitao, a New Bedford, Mass., native, became head coach at Virginia in 2005. In joining the Cavaliers, he became the school’s first black head coach in any sport. The Cavaliers went 63-60 in his time, their best season in 2006-07 when they went 21-11 and he was named the ACC Coach of the Year.

He has also served as president of the Black Coaches Association of America.

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