Committed to preserving and building on UVa's longstanding tradition of academic and athletic excellence, Craig Littlepage is in his 12th year as Virginia's Athletics Director. Littlepage's appointment as athletics director was announced in August of 2001.
Littlepage served as Virginia's interim athletics director from June 1, 2001, until his appointment to the position. He had also served as the University's interim athletics director from December of 1994 until July of 1995.
The first African-American athletics director in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Littlepage was named the Black Coaches Association's "Athletics Administrator of the Year" in 2003 and 2006. He was also listed on Sports Illustrated's list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports in 2003 and 2004. In March 2005, Littlepage was named one of Black Enterprise magazine's "Most Powerful African-Americans in Sports."
Littlepage has been a member of UVa's athletics administration since 1990 when he was appointed an assistant athletics director, a position he held from 1990-1991. He then spent four years as the associate director of athletics for programs and six years (1995-2001) as senior associate director of athletics, managing all aspects of the athletics department's day-to-day operations.
Littlepage leads a comprehensive 25-sport athletics program that routinely competes for championships and national rankings in many sports. At the same time, Cavalier student-athletes who exhaust their eligibility at Virginia graduate at a rate comparable to the student body as a whole. Annually, UVa student-athletes rank among the top Division I-A public universities in the country in graduation rates.
Ten years ago, Littlepage outlined a number of ambitious 10-year goals for the department to achieve by 2012: graduate 100 percent of its student-athletes; win 12 national championships and 70 conference titles; fully endow all scholarships and provide the operational support required to meet all other stated goals; build and maintain high-quality facilities; annually recruit the best student-athletes in the country (based on how coaches rate their top prospects); and fully comply with Title IX.
Such goals reflect Littlepage's vision of "uncompromised excellence in intercollegiate athletics" as well as the department's overall mission to "enhance and support the intellectual purpose of the University and its exemplary academic standards and traditions."
The 2011-12 athletics year proved to be another very successful one as 22 of Virginia's 25 athletics programs advanced to postseason competition. UVa finished 15th in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, the fifth time in the last six years the Cavaliers' program has placed in the top 15, including a school high of No. 3 in 2010.
The rowing team won its second NCAA Championship in three years. It's the fourth NCAA Championship for the Virginia athletics program in the last three years. Other top finishes in NCAA postseason competition by UVa athletics teams in 2011-12 included a second place finish in the NCAA Tournament by the men's tennis team and a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships by the women's golf team. The rowing team's varsity eight crew won the NCAA Championship in that event and the women's cross country team won the NCAA Southeast Regional title for the third time in the last four years. Men's tennis player Mitchell Frank won the singles championship at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) All-American Tournament and National Indoor Tournament. Twenty of the program's 25 sports were ranked nationally in the Top 25 during their respective seasons.
Virginia has won seven team NCAA Championships and 12 individual NCAA Championships in the last 10 years. The Cavaliers have also won 51 ACC Championships in that time frame, more than any other conference school. UVa won four ACC championships in 2011-12, second-most of any league member. In four of the last five athletics seasons UVa led the ACC in league titles.
Great progress has also been made in the area of athletics facility improvements during Littlepage's watch, including the addition of John Paul Jones Arena. The basketball arena/special events center opened in the summer of 2006 to rave reviews.
Littlepage has held many leadership roles within the NCAA, ACC, the University-at-large and professional organizations. He is currently a member of the John McLendon Foundation Steering Committee and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors (NACDA) from 2006-10.
In February 2002, he was appointed to the 10-member Division I Men's Basketball Committee by the NCAA Championship/Competition Cabinet and served a five-year term which was completed Aug. 31, 2007. In 2005-06, Littlepage served as the chair of the Men's Division I Basketball Committee and administered its selection process.
Littlepage previously was a member of the NCAA Division I Infractions Committee and the NCAA Academics, Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet, serving on the Recruiting and Student-Athlete Reinstatement Subcommittees. He chaired the Reinstatement Subcommittee in 1999-2000. He also served the NCAA on committees that studied sports wagering, postgame crowd control, basketball issues, and the College Basketball Partnership. He has participated as a presenter and mentor to the NCAA's Ethnic Minority Male Institute and the Black Coaches and Administrator Association.
Littlepage is currently the chairman of the ACC Women's Basketball Committee and the ACC Committee on Awards. He previously chaired the ACC Student-Athlete Welfare Committee, the ACC Men's and Women's Swimming/Diving Committees, and the ACC Men's Soccer Committee.
He is a member of the Associate Faculty for the University's Center for Alcohol and Substance Education, and participates in various alcohol and drug prevention/education conferences. Littlepage also has been active in the local community, having served on the Board of Directors for the Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House and serving as a Trustee with the Mount Zion Baptist Church and the St. Anne's-Belfield School.
Before beginning his career in athletics administration, Littlepage served two stints as an assistant coach with the Cavalier men's basketball program, from 1976 to 1982 and from 1988 to 1990.
Littlepage held head coaching positions at Pennsylvania (1982-85) and at Rutgers (1985-88) before returning to Virginia. While he was at Penn, the Quakers won the Ivy League championship and participated in the 1985 NCAA Tournament. Littlepage was an assistant basketball coach at Villanova for two years and at Yale for one year before joining the UVa basketball program as an assistant coach in 1976.
The LaMott, Pa., native earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. He was a member of three Ivy League basketball championship teams at Penn and was instrumental in the Quakers' drive to three consecutive NCAA Eastern Regional playoff appearances.
Littlepage and his wife Margaret have three children, two daughters Erica (26) and Erin (21), and a son Murray (23).