Head Coach Bill Leahy, the founder of the Lacrosse program at La Salle College High School, has announced his retirement. He compiled over 500 wins, including five Pennsylvania State Championships.
Bill Leahy, who started the Lacrosse program at La Salle College High School in 1992, announced his retirement after 28 years as head coach of the Explorers. During that time, Leahy compiled a record of 512 wins and 115 losses (82% winning percentage). He ranks third in number of wins amongst all coaches at La Salle College High School and is the winningest high school lacrosse coach in Pennsylvania having achieved his 500th career victory on April 25, 2019. Leahy is one of only 19 lacrosse coaches in the United States to ever win 500 games.
In 1992, Leahy was offered the chance to move from Baltimore to Philadelphia to start a varsity lacrosse program at La Salle College High School. Since that time, the program has grown from a modified JV team to a nationally-recognized high school program that consistently ranks among the top 25 teams in America. Leahy’s teams have reached the finals of the Pennsylvania State Championship nine times, winning five titles (2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2019). In addition, he has captured 23 Philadelphia Catholic League Championships (1993, 1995-2002, 2004-2010, 2012-2014, and 2016-2019). In 2008, US Lacrosse magazine ranked his team as the No. 1 Team in the Nation.
Brother James Butler, FSC, the President of La Salle College High School, shared, “The opportunities to refer to a colleague as a ‘founder’ are rare in a school like La Salle with our more than 160 years of history. But that is what Bill Leahy has been. As a very young adult, he was called from Baltimore based on an idea Brother Rene Sterner had. Then Bill made that idea a program, made that program first sustainable, then respectable. As the years went on and programmatic and individual successes mounted up, that respectability became institutionalized. So now we are at the point, 28 years later, where La Salle lacrosse is a redoubtable institution, one with national prominence and a legion of alumni who experienced success at the collegiate level and beyond. After nearly three decades of nurturing that program, Bill Leahy leaves his successor a legacy of ambition, energy, vision, and most importantly faith—faith in the potential of the young men entrusted to his care and faith in the God whose providence made this whole process of growing a dream into an institution possible.”
During his tenure as head coach of the Explorers, Bill Leahy coached 290 All-Catholics including 13 League MVP’s, 94 All-State selections, 61 All-Americans, 24 Academic All-Americans, 5 Under Armour All-Americans, and 10 Major League Lacrosse (MLL/PLL) professionals. Graduates of his program have played in the finest Division I and Division III programs in the nation and the 2019 Division I National Tournament included several La Salle alums.
In 2017, Leahy was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Montgomery County Chapter). He has likewise been inducted into the US Lacrosse Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2012) and Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame (2010). Recently, he was named the 2019 PhillyLacrosse.com Coach-of-the-Year.
Leahy was a standout player at both Calvert Hall College High School and Loyola College in Baltimore and played professionally for two years as a member of the Philadelphia Wings. He has twice been part of the USA U19 Men’s National Team (Assistant Manager/Coach in 2016 and Evaluator/Selection Committee Member in 2019).
Michael O’Toole, Principal of La Salle College High School, added, “Bill has been able to build a successful, competitive program in a manner that put his deep values into action. Faith, loyalty, character and class mark Bill's words and actions in his teaching, his counseling and his coaching. We will continue to be benefit from his dedication to this program over many years and look forward to the next chapters in his professional life at La Salle."
Bill Leahy will continue to work in his current position as a guidance counselor at La Salle College High School and looks forward to spending more time with his wife and children.
Breaking News: #LaSalleLacrosse Head Coach Bill Leahy Retires After 28 Years Of Coaching!— La Salle Sports (@LaSalle_Sports) July 1, 2019
Leahy started the program in 1992 winning 23 PCL Championships and 5 State Championships and the winningest coach in PA History. Thanks for everything, CBL.https://t.co/aL66Lvf4Sy pic.twitter.com/OLRbv48aoI
#LaSalleLacrosse Tony Resch coached with Bill Leahy for 16 seasons at La Salle.— La Salle Sports (@LaSalle_Sports) July 1, 2019
The typically short-spoken lacrosse hall of famer had plenty to say about his friend CBL #ThanksCBL #HailLaSalle @NLLwings pic.twitter.com/LEDh1avAm1