Former UMass coach passes away
Amherst, MA (Sports Network) – Former University of Massachusetts men’s and
women’s basketball coach Jack Leaman passed away Saturday night, the team
said. He was 71.
Leaman was the winningest head coach in UMass men’s basketball history and,
more recently, an award-winning radio color commentator. He was traveling back
to Amherst with the team after Saturday’s loss at Richmond when he suffered a
heart attack in Washington.
Leaman spent five years as an assistant for the Musketeers before taking over
as head coach prior to the 1966-67 season. He compiled a career record of
217-126 in 13 seasons, and coached Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving,
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and Boston College head coach Al Skinner.
Among other services he provided for the university, Leaman also served as
head women’s basketball coach in 1986-86. The team was 14-12 that season,
their only winning record from 1980-95.
Leaman was inducted into the New England Hall of Fame in 2003, the UMass
Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Boston University Hall of Fame in 1977.
He is survived by a wife, Rita, and daughter, Laura.