Remembering Dick Leach, USC's Legendary Coach

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Remembering Dick Leach, USC’s Legendary Coach

American earned a program record 540 wins

Former ATP Tour player and University of Southern California coach Dick Leach passed away Tuesday, 10 October at the age of 83. Leach led USC to four NCAA men’s championships as the head coach of his alma mater, where he also achieved All-American honours as a player.

Leach earned a program record 540 wins in his 23-year USC coaching career from 1980-2002. He won four NCAA championships, including three in four years (1991, 1993 and 1994) and ended his USC coaching career with a national title in 2002. During his tenure, the Trojans collected three NCAA doubles titles and two NCAA singles crowns.

A three-time ITA Coach of the Year, Leach was inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. His USC teams won seven conference championships, with Leach earning five Pac-12 Coach of the Year honours.

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A post shared by Prakash Amritraj (@prakashamritraj)

A memorable moment came when Leach’s two sons, Rick and Jon, contributed to USC’s success under their father’s tutelage. A four-time All-American, Rick won two NCAA doubles titles (1986 and 1987) and Jon, who was a two-time All-American, was a fixture on his father’s first three national championship teams.

Before his coaching career started, the California native Leach earned a 12-11 record on the ATP Tour. Leach was a three-year letterwinner at USC (1959-61) under former head coach George Toley.

Leach resided in Laguna Beach, Calif., with his family after his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, his sons, Rick and Jon, and his daughters, Tammy and Mindy.

Player Tributes:
Prakash Amritraj: “Coach, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for giving me a place to learn the start of my journey to becoming a man. Thank you for leaving only after making me a champion. Thank you for all the laughs in your pre-practice speeches. Thank you for all you have given to me and all the other men you have given your blood, sweat and tears to throughout your life. You will always have an absolutely special place in my heart for the rest of my days here. Rest beautifully with God, Coach Leach.”

Jorge Lozano: “Coach Leach was always very concerned about us as individuals, he worried about our well being and also about our competitiveness as tennis players. I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity he gave me at USC. He was always successful as a tennis coach and loved by many. Rest in Peace, Coach.”

Matt Anger: “I owe Coach Leach and his family so much. He helped me not only transition into college, but onto the Tour, and again after playing into coaching.”

Dick Leach led USC to four NCAA championships.
Dick Leach with David Ekerot. Credit: USC

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