LeRoy Mercer was one of America’s best in two sports – he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame and he represented the United States track team at the 1912 Olympics after being selected as an alternate in 1908.
On the football field, Mercer was twice named All-American, in 1910 and 912, and the fullback captained the 1911 and 1912 Red and Blue squads. Over the course of his three-year varsity career, Mercer scored 30 touchdowns, 15 in his senior campaign. These accomplishments all came without any secondary school football experience.
Mercer captained the 1913 University of Pennsylvania intercollegiate-champion track team. The year prior to that, however, he had placed fifth in the Olympic long jump and sixth in the decathlon. In 1913, he was named an All-American for his long jump accomplishments, and he won the IC4A long jump titles in 1912 and 1913. Mercer cleared the 12-foot mark in the pole vault in 1908, setting a record which he then broke in 1909. He is credited with becoming the only high school athlete to clear that height with a now-outdated spruce pole.
Mercer was named University of Pennsylvania’s Dean of Physical Education in 1930.