*GERRY LEEMAN, Lehigh coach was also a great wrestler who won the 1946 NCAA Outstanding Wrestler Award at 128 and a silver medal at the 1948 London Games. After his hiring by Hall of Fame coach, Billy Sheridan, Leeman rebuilt Lehigh Wrestling. From 1941-52 Lehigh had won just two EIWA team titles and no All-American medals. During Gerry’s 18-yr coaching career (1953-70), he coached men to nine NCAA titles, six of nine EIWA team titles from 1959-67, won a record six of nine league weights in ‘62 and a total of 32 All-Americans in an era of 4 to 6 medalists.
Under Leeman’s fiery leadership, Lehigh enjoyed stupendous attendance. In 110 home dual meets from 1953-70, Lehigh averaged 2,920, with just two duals under 1,800 – in a legal Grace Hall capacity of 2,775. Interest was so intense that closed-circuit TV was introduced to let fans watch upstairs. Gerry owns Lehigh’s best winning percentage (161-38-4 for 80.3%) and the most wins over Top Ten teams (20). His squads finished in the Top Ten at the NCAA tournament 12 times, four of them in the Top Five.
Leeman was then Thad Turner’s assistant for 12 years, helping add 32 more medals, seven more NCAA champions and ten more Top 10 teams (four Top 5’s). Gerry became Lehigh’s Assistant AD before retiring with wife, Darlene, in Hellertown before moving to Florida. Their son, Jay, wrestled for Lehigh from 1968-70 (18-11-2 in duals). Germ was a charter inductee to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.