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Freddie Leathers, Marion County High School boys’ golf head coach, recently decided to retire from coaching.
Leathers, who resigned as the girls’ basketball head coach in 2006, has served 17 years as golf coach.
“I was fortunate to have coached several outstanding young men and ladies, and to have made many new friends in those 17 years,” Leathers said.
His career as a golf coach began in 1986, and lasted until 1995.
“I was forced to resign when I was named the girls head basketball coach. In those days our administration would not allow basketball or football head coaches to coach another sport,” he said.
After retiring from coaching girls’ basketball in 2006, he took on the role as the assistant golf coach under former Head Coach Steve McDaniel.
In 2008, he took the reins again as head coach.
The golf program was rebuilt under his watch twice.
“My first year, I can remember going into the school’s office excited about the team qualifying for the state tournament, only to be told the team would not be able to attend unless I came up with the money needed,” he said. “It seems I was left with a team that had no money in its budget.”
Leathers received a loan through the basketball program to enable the players to attend the tournament.
The coach also increased the boys’ exposure around the region and state.
“The boys were only playing about seven or eight matches before ‘86,” he said. “That first year we were 24-1 and then the next year we played in the (Kentucky Invitational Tournament), the Tates Creek tournament and in Henry Clay’s tournament at Lakeside.”
The team continues to play that kind of schedule.
“In 2008, we went from playing in just the conference tournament to playing in seven or eight tournaments each year, which of course took a bigger budget (achieved through fundraisers) and working weekends,” he said.
Most recently, Leathers developed the Marion County Invitational tournament.
“This tournament hosts 24 high school teams, has grown in popularity each year and has become one of the state’s finest and most enjoyed,” he said.