Leaness, Pete : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Leaness, Pete

William P. Leaness

Leaness is often regarded as the Dean of U.S. college coaches. As the soccer coach at Temple University from 1930-1970, he produced over 30 collegiate All-Americans and won an incredible 250 games. He is a member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. July 5, 1904 - d. Sept. 1972

Career Highlights:
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Leaness was an outstanding player at Temple University and was the school's first All-America in 1929. A third-baseman at Temple, Leaness was also a member of the first All-Star college baseball team. The team took its show on the road, with a tour of Cuba.

After graduating from Temple, Leaness spurned offers to play professional baseball and became the school's soccer coach instead. Over the next 40 years, Leaness won 250 games, lost 97, and drew 38 for an amazing .699 winning percentage (31st all-time in NCAA history). During this time, he produced 36 All-Americans; and in 1951, led Temple to the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association National Championship. Temple won the Soccer Bowl the following year.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)

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