DONALD E. LEAS
1999 Paragon Award / Competitive Diving
Don Leas is to diving what Noodles are to Chicken soup. Since starting high school diving in 1953, he has been inseparable to the sport ever since. He competed for Michigan State in NCAA competition in both diving and gymnastics (Big 10 Champion on Flying Rings). Most of his diving coaching years were at Clarion University of Pennsylvania (1966 –1990) developing 36 National Champions. But his contribution to the sport goes far beyond his athleticism and coaching. For United States Diving, Inc., he has been the Chairman for almost every committee including rules, certification, safety and membership. He has been the technical and administrative liaison to numerous organizations and events including the FINA World Trials, Goodwill Games, FINA World Cup, U.S. Olympic Festival, NCAA, AAU, and the USOC. He has been an advisor and referee to over 10 international events. He has been author or editor to over 12 book publications on diving and diving rules and has produced four motion pictures on diving for the Athlete Institute. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, he served as the diving coordinator.