Leo Johnson

Inducted in 2001

The name Leo Johnson has been synonymous with wrestling since 1960 when his coaching mastery began at East Syracuse Minoa and concluded at Baldwinsville with a record that is nothing less than astounding. In his 25 of coaching (four at ESM and 21 at Baldwinsville), Johnson had a dual meet record of 306-42-5 for a career winning percentage of .878. Johnson’s team won 14 Onondaga League Wrestling Championships, eight Section III Class A Championships, and eight Section III Tournaments wrestling titles. From 1978 to 1981 Johnson’s teams were ranked the number one dual meet team by the New York State Sports Writers Association. He has won numerous Coaches of the Year honors, including Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1980 by the National High School Coaches Association. In 1980 he was selected National Wrestling Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. In 1978, Leo received the Blind Men and Criers annual “John Arcaro Coaches Award” given to the high school coach who have been recognized for outstanding success in their sport.

A graduate of SUNY Cortland, he has been inducted into the school’s "C" Club Athletic Hall of Fame. Other honors include induction into the NYSHSAA High School Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame. In 1998 Johnson was inducted into the National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame in Slitter, OK. He retired from education in 1994, he has been one of the most sought after speakers on the high school wrestling, traveling to 21 different states, the Virgin Island, Canada and the former Soviet Union for clinics and conventions.