Jack Leaman

Jack Leaman (1932-2004)

Teams coached: UMass Minutemen
UMass record: 217-126 (.633)
Overall record^: 217-126 (.633)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  6  (1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977)
  • Yankee Regular Season Champion:  8  (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1991-1994 UMass (women’s asst)
1986-1987 UMass (women’s HC)
1966-1979 UMass
1961-1966 UMass (asst)

Jack Leaman Facts

  • Jack Leaman
  • Born December 22, 1932
  • Died March 6, 2004
  • Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Alma Mater: Boston University (BA, 1959 & MA, 1961)
  • The Boston-native graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, then served for two years in the US Army
    • After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Boston and played at BU for coach Matt Zunic
    • Was team captain in 1959 and led the Terriers in scoring and assists each year he was on the team
    • Inducted into the BU Athletic HOF in 1977 and had his jersey #10 retired by the program in 2008
  • Worked on Zunic‘s staff at UMass from 1961-63 and stayed on under new head coach Johnny Orr for three more years
  • Elevated to head coach in 1966 and led the program for the next 13 seasons, going 217-126 overall
    • Reached the NIT six times and won eight Yankee Conference titles, the third-most for any head coach
    • Among his players were future Hall of Famer Julius Erving and future coaches Rick Pitino and Al Skinner
    • Inducted into the UMass Athletic HOF in 1988 and had the floor at Mullins Center named in his honor in 2012
  • Spent one season (1986-87) as interim head coach of the UMass women’s team, going 14-12 (9-9 A-10)
    • Later re-joined the program as an assistant coach for three years under Joanie O’Brien
  • Began working as a UMass radio broadcast commentator in 1994 and continued in that role until his death in 2004
    • Inducted into the New England Basketball Coaches HOF in 2003
  • Passed away in March 2004 at the age of 71 after suffering a heart attack on his way back from a UMass away game
    • Survived by his wife, Rita, and his daughter, Laura

Jack Leaman Coaching Tree

  • Tom McLaughlin (UMass)
  • Rick Pitino (St, John’s, Iona, Louisville, Boston Celtics, Kentucky, New York Knicks, Providence, Boston University, Hawaii)
  • Al Skinner (Kennesaw State, Boston College, Rhode Island)
  • Ray Wilson (UMass)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the men’s NCAA Division I level only