By Joe Catullo jr.
Party Suite 304 at the Covelli Centre was the site for a Leach family and friends gathering on Sunday, The party honored former high school basketball player, coach and teacher Rex Leach.
From his wife and youngest son to his grandchildren, all attended the Leach January Christmas during the second annual Lariccia’s See Them Rise Basketball Showcase.
“Well, it was another honor,” said Carol Leach, Rex’s wife. “He’s gotten quite a few lately. It’s nice that he can get it and appreciate it.”
The game program nicknamed Rex Leach as the “Vienna High School Scoring Machine 1954-1955.”
During that season, he scored a record 1,266 points. Leach also ranks high in other categories, including fifth with 2,581 career points (65 behind LeBron James).
“It’s nice to have that record, but probably the nicest thing about my career is coaching my two boys,” Leach said.
His oldest son, Tod, was unable to attend but his youngest, Sean, joined the party.
“He’s been my coach my whole life, so it’s been a great, great ride,” Sean Leach said. “He’s the only coach I had, so I can’t compare to anybody.
“But as a father and a coach, he was really awesome to have.”
After high school, Rex Leach started three years at Bowling Green and then served two years in the military. He later became a head coach at South Range, Mathews (formerly Vienna), North Royalton and Richland Heights high schools.
Leach said he last coached in 1978 and retired from teaching in 1998. He works as a therapist a couple hours every day and lives near Canfield.