Story Links

Sept. 5, 2017

What they are saying about Craig Littlepage from the athletics world:

Val Ackerman
Commissioner of the Big East Conference and UVA (1981) women’s basketball player

“Virginia athletics are synonymous with excellence and integrity, and much of the credit for that belongs to Craig Littlepage, a class act in every way. Legions of Wahoo student-athletes have Craig to thank for bringing them a one-of-a-kind life experience, and UVA supporters around the country can take enormous pride in being associated with one of most accomplished and best-run operations in college sports. Craig’s long-standing contributions to basketball have also been a tremendous service to the game. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Kevin Anderson
Athletic Director, Maryland

“Craig is one of the best athletic directors of all time. Intercollegiate athletics will not be the same without him. I love Craig Littlepage. Best wishes Craig. I will miss you.”

Mike Bobinski
Vice President — Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Purdue University

Craig Littlepage has had a remarkable and significant journey as a student-athlete, a coach and an administrator. Craig has always represented and advocated for the highest ideals of college athletics–his character has been a model for me and so many others over the years.

“I’m honored to call Craig a friend and colleague and wish him and Margaret all the best in their next chapter.”

Terry Holland
Former Athletics Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Virginia

Craig Littlepage and his staff have helped the UVA coaching staff build one of the finest athletic programs in the country. We owe these coaches and staff members a big thank you. There is still a lot of work to be done to stay in the nation’s elite programs so let’s all roll up our sleeves and get the job done.”

Tom Jernstedt
Senior Counselor, the Jernstedt Compand and former NCAA Executive Vice President

“Craig is an outstanding leader and administrator in intercollegiate athletics. He is highly respected by both the student-athletes and fellow administrators. I was fortunate to have worked closely with Craig during his tenure as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He played the game, knows it well and was an excellent committee member and chair of the committee. Craig is a very knowledgeable, conscientious and confident leader and possesses the unique skill of being a bridge-builder. Most importantly, he is very devoted to doing what is best for the student-athletes.”

Bernard Muir
The Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics at Stanford

“Craig has been a mentor (and role model) to me and many, many others over his career. He leads with great integrity and cares deeply about the people whom he interacts with regularly. I know he has cared deeply about his role at Virginia and within the ACC. He will certainly be missed in our profession but I know he has cherished his time in Charlottesville.”

Tom O’Connor
Former George Mason Director of Athletic and former chairman of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Committee
“Craig is one of the most dedicated, classiest and highly ethical individuals I have had the pleasure to have known both professionally and personally.

“While the sport teams were successful under his time as AD at UVA, his most outstanding legacy will be his care for the welfare of all the student-athletes. We wish the best for him and Margaret with their new journey.”

Judy Rose
Director of Athletics, UNC Charlotte
“Craig is one of the really good guys in our business! He has positioned Virginia for continued success and greatness. He is highly respected in our industry and will be missed. His legacy will live on!”

Greg Shaheen
Former NCAA Executive Vice President and President, OSM Advisors, LLC
“Throughout his tenure at UVa, Craig served on a variety of committees on a national level. It was his service on the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee where Craig’s many strengths combined with his love for College Basketball. Craig led discussion centered on providing the best possible experience for student-athletes, the need to strategically keep the game competitive, all while assuring March Madness remained as thrilling a national event as possible. His care, commitment and subtle-but-clear humor make Craig a dear, respected colleague and friend with whom we are all honored to have worked with.”

Gary Walters
Former Princeton Director of Athletics and former chairman of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Committee
“The University of Virginia and the world of intercollegiate athletics is losing one of its most effective ambassadors, dignified thought-leaders, and respected ADs with Craig’s announcement today that he will retire. Having known Craig since he was a senior student-athlete at Cheltenham High School, I have watched him distinguish himself as a Penn student-athlete, a coach and finally as the AD at UVA, where his tenure was not only featured by highly successful teams, but by his unwavering philosophical commitment to fulfilling the student-athlete ideal. Of course, Craig’s influence within the administrative circles of the NCAA has been highly respected by his AD peers and was punctuated by his role as chairman of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee in 2006.

“As a friend, I wish Craig, Margaret and the Littlepage family Happy Trails on their continuous journey.

“Notwithstanding whatever Craig decides to do in retirement, his voice will remain a strong and principled advocate in intercollegiate athletics as he maintains his commitment to strengthen the hyphen that connects student with athlete, i.e., student-athlete.”

What they are saying about Craig Littlepage from the Atlantic Coast Conference:

John Swofford
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner
Craig Littlepage has been the steady hand at the helm of the University of Virginia athletic department for the last 16 years. His leadership and positive influence are well known, beginning with his days as a student-athlete and continuing throughout his coaching career and his 25 plus years in athletics administration. Craig is one of the most highly respected individuals within the ACC, among his peers, and across the overall landscape of collegiate athletics. Even more impressive is how remarkable he is as a person, which is why I’ve always described him as one of the true gentlemen in our profession. Nora and I wish Craig and Margaret nothing but the best as they look ahead to this next chapter.”

Martin Jarmond
William V. Campbell Director of Athletics, Boston College
“Craig’s impact on people goes well beyond the students he’s touched or the staff he has led. There are many of us like myself who have always admired him from afar. He has been a great AD, and yet a better person…someone who cares deeply about others, does it the right way and fosters a culture of excellence. Thank you Craig, for showing us the way.”

Dan Radakovich
Director of Athletics, Clemson University
“What a tremendous honor to have shared the ACC Athletics Directors’ room for the last 11 years with Craig Littlepage. He is a great friend and colleague who helped guide our conference to the strong position it enjoys today. His effect on the University of Virginia athletics program and the entire Atlantic Coast Conference is immeasurable. I wish Craig and Margaret the best in retirement…know that you will be missed!”

Kevin White
Vice President and Director of Athletics, Duke
Craig Littlepage is unequivocally a pinnacle leader within the entire intercollegiate athletics community. Craig consistently exhibits unqualified class, grace and dignity, while diligently leading our entire cohort of colleagues around the non-negotiable standard of integrity. To say the very least, Craig and Margaret have had an indelible impact on the entire higher education enterprise, well beyond the University of Virginia.”

Stan Wilcox
Vice President & Director of Athletics, Florida State

“From student-athlete to coach to administrator, Craig has worn every hat possible in intercollegiate athletics, and worn them all exceedingly well. Craig paved the way for individuals like myself to have senior leadership opportunities, and I am proud to have worked alongside him and to call him a friend. I wish Craig, Margaret and the Littlepage family all the best in his retirement.”

Debbie Yow
Director of Athletics, NC State
“Craig has been a terrific colleague for many years. His insights have always been thoughtful and reasoned, making the ACC a better conference through his words and actions. He will be missed by all of us.”

Bubba Cunningham
Director of Athletics, North Carolina
“Craig’s leadership and dedication to academic and athletic excellence will be missed not only by the University of Virginia, but also by his colleagues throughout the ACC and the country. He oversaw an unprecedented level of competitive success at UVA with 13 national championships and nearly 80 conference titles. On a personal level, Craig always has been generous with his time in the 20-plus years I’ve known him, and I greatly appreciate his counsel and willingness to share ideas. He and his wife, Margaret, have been good friends to our family and to Carolina, and we wish them the very best.”

Heather Lyke
Athletic Director, Pittsburgh

“Craig is a first-class leader and colleague who has led Virginia athletics on a tremendous path of academic and athletic success throughout the years. I have admired him as an intellectual and visionary leader who made a positive impact in the world of college athletics. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Tom Jurich
Vice President & Director of Athletics, Louisville
“Craig has obviously accomplished so much during his remarkable run at Virginia and has made a significant impact overall on college athletics, all with the highest of class and integrity. He and his wife Margaret have been wonderful to my wife Terrilynn and I since our university joined the ACC. We wish them both the best in his retirement.”

Ron Wellman
Director of Athletics, Wake Forest
“Craig has always served as a calming voice of reason in our AD meetings. He is respected by his colleagues as a thoughtful and fair leader. He always had the welfare of student-athletes as his primary objective. He will certainly be missed for his reasonable approach to all issues associated with college athletics.”

What they are saying about Craig Littlepage from UVA Head Coaches:

Mark Allen
Head Squash Coach
“I am thankful to Craig and all of the hard work that he has put in behind the scenes to help make our dream of squash as a varsity sport at UVA a reality. Without his understanding, vision and guidance, it’s highly unlikely that squash would be in the position that we find ourselves at the University of Virginia today.”

Tony Bennett
Men’s Basketball Head Coach
“Craig has led our athletic department with passion and integrity. His vision and leadership established UVA as one of the top programs in Division I athletics. Craig’s also one of the most well-liked and respected ADs in all of college sports. It’s been a joy to work for Craig and he should head into his retirement with a big smile on his face knowing he did things the right way while making a significant impact on the success of Virginia athletics. I’m thankful for his support and mentorship, and wish him and his wife, Margaret, all the best.”

Joanne Boyle
Head Women’s Basketball Coach
“I am so thankful I was able to be a part of Craig’s coaching tree these last six years. Craig is a man of integrity and high character who won at the highest level for the last 16 years while always standing firm in Virginia’s goals of uncompromised excellence. He is a great leader and a man of faith and he showed his true leadership by pouring fervently into those under his guidance. He is a genuine, caring, selfless family man who supported Virginia athletics like it was his own family. I will miss his treasured advice and support, but I am happy for him as he embarks on this next chapter of his life. His indelible legacy at Virginia will be eternally remembered.”

Todd DeSorbo
Head Swimming Coach
“Although I’ve just begun my journey as part of the UVA family, Craig Littlepage has done an outstanding job making me feel at home in the athletics community here on Grounds. I knew well that Craig would likely be retiring soon when I accepted the position, however I was excited about the opportunity to work with him. He is a well-respected leader both in the UVA and Charlottesville communities and nationwide. I’m disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to work with him for longer, however I’m excited for him to be able to pursue life after a phenomenal career leading the Virginia Cavalier athletic department. Craig has paved the road for the future of our programs and I’m sure UVA will continue to thrive under future leadership. Ultimately, athletics is a small part of our student-athletes’ experience here at UVA. It’s the academic reputation that sets us apart and will continue to be the staple of the athletic community. We will do our best to make Craig, UVA and the Charlottesville community proud in the future. We wish Craig all the best!”

Bryan Fetzer
Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, Head Track and Field Coach
“Craig has been a huge help in my personal growth as a coach and leader, over the last five years. His personal experience as a former college coach was so valuable in his administrative role. You knew he had been in your shoes and could provide realistic advice in handling the various situations that arise in collegiate athletics. I’m going to selfishly miss that but I know that eventually all things come to an end.”

Steve Garland
Head Wrestling Coach

“I will forever be indebted to Craig Littlepage. In 2006 Craig took a chance on me and hired me to lead this program and made a dream come true for me. I was only 29 years old then and now at 40 I can look back and see how much I have grown as a coach and as a person under his leadership. Craig has always been there for me. I love the man and I mean that with all my heart. When I look back at the past 11 years here the success of this athletic department is just incredible. I’m truly sad to see him leave, but I am also happy for him and his family. I have prayed and will continue to pray for him moving forward.”

George Gelnovatch
Head Men’s Soccer Coach
“Much of the success that I’ve had on and off the field I can attribute to the leadership of Craig Littlepage. I think I can speak on behalf of many of the coaches in the department when I say that he’s been pivotal in the abundance of accomplishments by individual programs and the department as a whole. I wish him luck in his retirement, he will be missed.”

Joanna Hardin
Head Softball Coach

“It has truly been a blessing to work for Craig and I am indebted to him for giving me the opportunity to be at UVA and part of the Virginia athletics family. In my short time at UVA, Craig has been an incredible source of encouragement and support to me as a new coach and to the softball program. I’m forever grateful for his mentorship, leadership and vision. His day-to-day presence will be greatly missed but he has established a legacy that will always remain on grounds.”

Kim Lewellen
Head Women’s Golf Coach
“I have had the privilege to work under Craig Littlepage my entire time here in Virginia. His support for the student-athletes, the coaches and all of the university community were shown daily. He recorded the highest athletic achievements with uncompromised excellence. He left a wonderful legacy here at Virginia.”

Michele Madison
Head Field Hockey Coach
Craig Littlepage’s legacy at Virginia is his blueprint for building successful Olympic sports programs. Under his guidance, our Olympic sports programs are all highly regarded on a national level and have all been extremely successful. The most important part of his vision for all of the sports was the hiring of coaches who fit the UVA model. I remember when the basketball coaching position was open, I asked him if he would consider this one or that one and he said, “We are more concerned about character that we are about winning at all costs. But make no mistake about it, we will win. We will build success the right way.” During Craig’s time at UVA, that is what we have done. There is no compromise on ethics, treatment of athletes or NCAA rules. Ever. I respect that. I am honored to have been given the opportunity at UVA and the honor and privilege to have been mentored by Craig.”

Bronco Mendenhall
Head Football Coach
“It has been a wonderful experience to get to know and work with Craig Littlepage. He is a man who exemplifies class and dignity. He is an administrator who demonstrates great poise and professionalism in his oversight of our department.

“Craig has this amazing personal touch with everyone he contacts. He understands the demands and experiences of all of our coaching staffs and knows when you need a hand around your shoulder, when you might need some sage advice or when to offer up praise. His concern for the welfare and personal growth of our student-athletes is genuine and the top priority he expresses to all of us. He has great passion for the young men and women in college athletics, not just those on our Grounds.

“Craig has been a tremendous example to all of us who work in the athletics department. The touch and influence he has had on UVA athletes will be felt for decades to come.”

Julie Myers
Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach
“I have known and respected Craig for 30 years, first as one of our basketball coaches, then as an assistant athletic director before he became our athletic director. What he has done for the athletic department and the University of Virginia is enormous. He stepped into his AD role at a very uncertain time for our department and he led with passion and purpose. He played a big part in helping our department grow and rise to new heights. He leaves the department in good shape with a lot of great coaches, administrators and student-athletes ready to positively represent UVA and athletics, both on the field and in the community. I wish him and his family the best and am thankful I had the opportunity to work with him during his time here.”

Brian O’Connor
Head Baseball Coach
“I want to thank Craig Littlepage for bringing my family and me to Charlottesville 14 years ago. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities he provided our players and coaching staff. Craig had a very clear vision for Virginia Baseball and always provided the highest level of support to win championships.

Craig Littlepage is a man of the highest integrity and will be missed. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Sara O’Leary
Head Women’s Tennis Coach
“Although I have only known Craig Littlepage for a short time, I have truly enjoyed getting to know him. He is so kind and has built an incredible culture within the Virginia athletic department. I am grateful for the opportunity he provided me with and wish him nothing but the best.”

Andres Pedroso
Director of Tennis, Head Men’s Coach
“Craig has been the epitome of character, integrity and class from the minute I met him for the first time in 2010 as an assistant coach. As a leader, I have always admired him for his emotional control, positive messaging and his willingness to give anyone his undivided attention, regardless of their role or how busy he was. I am grateful for everything that Craig has done for UVA athletics and especially UVA tennis.”

Bowen Sargent
Head Men’s Golf Coach
“It has been an honor to work for Craig. He showed faith in me as a young assistant coach to lead Virginia’s men’s golf program and I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity he gave me. I’ve always appreciated Craig’s vision for our athletic department and the commitment to excellence. It’s no mystery why UVA has been one of the best athletic departments in the country. After 16 years of dedicated work I wish Craig a successful retirement.”

Kevin Sauer
Head Rowing Coach
“Craig has been a stalwart for this department for over 27 years, including 16 as director. His character, integrity and vision have driven us to be one of the premier athletic departments in the country. Craig’s decision in 2001 to fully fund all sports was a very important one that allowed our department to succeed. Personally, he has been a steady and supportive force that I appreciate immensely.”

Aaron Smith
Head Volleyball Coach
“Craig always makes time for his coaches and he always has a way to motivate the department and I will miss that. He gave me this opportunity as a first-time head coach and I will always be thankful for that. I am also very happy for Craig and his family to move on to the next chapter of their lives. I want to thank him for everything he has done for me, my family and Virginia volleyball.”

Steve Swanson
Head Women’s Soccer Coach
“When I came to Virginia 17 years ago, the first person I met was Craig Littlepage. During that first visit he was very gracious and humble, and his love for the University of Virginia was obvious. During his time as athletic director, he has strengthened an already strong department, provided more resources for all the coaches to pursue championships and in the end, has led the department to unprecedented success. Throughout that time, he has remained gracious and humble while maintaining his love for the university and all the student-athletes. I am happy for him and want to wish him, his wife Margaret and his entire family nothing but the best.”

Lars Tiffany
Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach
“I will forever be indebted to Craig for providing me this opportunity to be a part of our first-class institution and athletic department here in Charlottesville. Our shared philosophical approach to coaching and teaching student-athletes was evident immediately in the hiring process and throughout our time together. The fortune has been my own to have had Craig’s guidance and mentorship: he has been a valuable asset for my professional growth. The University of Virginia is in a tremendous position today thanks to Craig, due both to the unprecedented success realized during his tenure and for the foundation he and his staff have established for our teams moving forward.”

Print Friendly Version