Barton B. Leach, C’55, was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and baseball at Penn, but he definitely made his largest mark on the hardwood. In fact, he holds the distinction of being Penn’s first first-team All-Ivy honoree; he was one of the five named to the original All-Ivy team that was honored his senior year.

 

Leach was captain of the 1954-55 Penn hoops squad that went 19-6 overall and finished third in the first Ivy League championship race. During his sophomore year, the Quakers posted a 22-5 record, won the Eastern Intercollegiate League (EIL) with a 10-2 mark, and became the first Penn men’s basketball team to play in the NCAA Tournament (the Quakers lost to Notre Dame 69-57 in the first round, then beat DePaul 90-70 in a consolation game).


Leach is second on Penn’s all-time list and fifth in the Ivy League with 1,066 career rebounds, an average of 14.8 per game. He also holds the school and Ivy mark for rebounds in a game (32 vs. Harvard on Feb. 18, 1955); in fact, he holds four of the top six single-game rebounding totals in Quaker history—perhaps even more amazing, three of them happened within seven days of each other.

 

Leach was drafted by the Boston Celtics following graduation; he later spent 28 years in the ministry and 17 years in business. He married Ruth Smith Leach (College for Women ‘54) and they have three children—son Dana and daughters Brenda and Nancy—and three grandchildren.