About Virginia | Athletic Department Directory
Craig Littlepage- Director of Athletics
Committed to preserving and building on UVa's longstanding tradition of academic and athletic excellence, Craig Littlepage is in his sixth year as Virginia's Athletics Director. He was named to that post by University President John T. Casteen III at a press conference on August 21, 2001.
Before becoming the University's ninth A.D., Littlepage served as interim athletics director beginning June 1, 2001, following the retirement of former athletics director Terry Holland who became a special assistant to Casteen. Littlepage also served as interim athletics director at Virginia from December of 1994 to July of 1995, while a search was conducted to replace former UVa athletics director Jim Copeland.
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 of 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. He served six years (1995-2001) as senior associate director of athletics, managing all aspects of the athletics department's day-to-day operations. Before that, he spent four years as associate director of athletics for programs. He originally joined Virginia's athletics administrative staff in 1990 as an assistant athletics director.
The 55-year-old Littlepage presides over a vibrant 25-sport athletics program that regularly vies for state, conference and national titles in many sports. At the same time, Cavalier student-athletes 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.
Four years ago, Littlepage outlined a number of ambitious 10-year goals for the department-to be achieved 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."
During the 2005-06 academic year, Cavalier teams and individual student-athletes continued the department's ascension toward achieving broad-based success in all sports.
Virginia won a national championship in men's lacrosse and claimed five ACC Championships (in men's cross country, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, women's rowing, and men's swimming and diving) in 2005-06. The football team won the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, and Somdev Devvarman finished second in the NCAA men's singles tennis championship competition. Overall, individuals or teams from 19 sports represented Virginia in postseason play. The Cavaliers also won the first Commonwealth Challenge athletics competition with Virginia Tech, 14.5 to 7.5.
Great progress has also been made in the area of athletics facility improvements during Littlepage's watch. Construction was completed on the John Paul Jones Arena, a new basketball arena/special events center, in the summer of 2006 at an estimated cost of $129.8 million. Other facility projects completed recently include a 5,000 square foot Olympic sport training room at a cost of $1.7 million; a $7.5 million tennis center expansion at the Boar's Head Inn complex that adds nine indoor courts, three specifically for intercollegiate team use (the Boyd Tinsley Indoor Courts) along with seating for 1,000 fans; the Lou Oehmig Short Game Practice Facility at Birdwood Golf Course dedicated in November 2005; renovations to the locker rooms in University Hall; and the installation of FieldTurf on three practice fields.
In February of 2003, the athletics department received a $1.5 million gift from an anonymous donor to renovate Memorial Gymnasium and Onesty Hall, significantly benefitting UVa's wrestling and women's volleyball programs. The University received $2 million in gifts from anonymous donors in June of 2001 to launch a construction project to build the UVa Baseball Stadium. Much of the work on the stadium, including a 1,500-seat canopied grandstand, stadium lights, new dugouts, and a new press box, was completed in time for the 2002 season. The baseball playing field is named Ted Davenport Field and was dedicated in April of 2002. Virginia has hosted one of the 16 NCAA Regional sites for the Division I Baseball Championship in two of the last three years. UVa also hosted an NCAA Regional in men's tennis each of the last three years.
Littlepage has held many leadership roles within the NCAA, ACC and University-at-large. In February of 2002, he was appointed to the 10-member Division I Men's Basketball Committee by the NCAA Championship/Competition Cabinet. The main responsibility of the committee is the administration of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament and championship. His term runs from Sept. 1, 2002 to Sept. 1, 2007. During the 2004-05 academic year, Littlepage served as the Committee's Vice-Chair. In 2005-06, Littlepage served a one-year stint as the chair of the Men's Division I Basketball Committee and administered a selection process that produced one of the most exciting tournaments in NCAA basketball championship history.
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.
Littlepage 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. He also served the NCAA on committees that studied sports wagering, postgame crowd control, basketball issues, and the College Basketball Partnership. He has 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; and he's served as a member of the ACC Women's Basketball Committee, and the ACC Committee on Awards. He 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. He is also on the Board of Trustees at Saint 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.
Biography at a Glance
BORN: August 5, 1951, in LaMott, Pa.
FAMILY: Married to the former Margaret Murray of Charlottesville, Va.; three children: Erica (20), Murray Quentin (17) and Erin (15). Erica is a third-year student at the University of Virginia.
EDUCATION: B.A. in economics, University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School,
COACHING EXPERIENCE: Assistant basketball coach at the University of
Villanova, 1973-75, assistant basketball coach at Yale University,
1975-1976; assistant basketball coach at the University of Virginia, 1976
to 1982; head basketball coach, University of Pennsylvania, 1982-85; head
basketball coach, Rutgers University, 1985-88; assistant basketball coach,
University of Virginia, 1988-90.
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE: Assistant athletic director, University of
Virginia, 1990-91; associate athletic director for programs, University of
Virginia, 1991-95; senior associate director of athletics, University of
Virginia, 1995-01; named athletic director at the University of Virginia,
August 21, 2001.