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Leo Lewis (running back)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leo Lewis
No. 29
Born:(1933-02-04)February 4, 1933
Des Moines, Iowa
Died:August 30, 2013(2013-08-30) (aged 80)
Columbia, Missouri
Career information
CFL statusAmerican
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight196 lb (89 kg)
CollegeLincoln (MO)
NFL draft1955 / Round: 6 / Pick: 64
Drafted byBaltimore Colts
Career history
As player
19551966Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star1962
CFL West All-Star1955, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
Pro Bowls1
Career stats

Leo Everett Lewis Jr. (February 4, 1933 – August 30, 2013) was an American gridiron football player and coach. He played college football as a running back for Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri from 1951 to 1954 and professionally with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1955 to 1966. He served as the head football coach at his alma mater, Lincoln, from 1973 to 1975.

Playing career


As a halfback at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lewis was nicknamed "The Lincoln Locomotive". He set school records for touchdowns in a season (22), touchdowns in a career (64), rushing yards in a season (1,239) and career rushing yards (4,457).


After a stellar college career, Lewis signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was named All-Pro six times. was a member of four Grey Cup-winning Blue Bombers teams. During his 11-year career in the CFL, he rushed for 8,861 yards with a 6.6 yard average. He also was a remarkable kick-returner, averaging 29.1 yards on kickoff returns in his CFL career. His career rushing total of 8,861 yards stood as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber record for 41 years until it was passed by Charles Roberts in 2007. His career totals in return yardage, and yards per carry, still stand as Blue Bombers records.

Coaching career

Lewis worked briefly for the United States Department of Agriculture and was an assistant coach at Hickman High School in Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. He returned to his alma mater, Lincoln University, in 1968 as an assistant football coach under Dwight T. Reed. Lewis succeeded Reed as head football coach in 1973.[1] He resigned from his post as head football coach in January 1976, after leading the Lincoln Blue Tigers to a record of 12–21 in three seasons.[2]

Lewis also coached golf and was a physical educations instructor at Lincoln. He was the head coach of the women's basketball team from 1981 to 1993, compiling a record of 104–206 in 12 seasons. Lewis later served as the interim athletic director at Lincoln.


Lewis was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973 and the College Football Hall of Fame in August 2005. In 2005, he was named to 20 All-Time Blue Bombers Greats, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Blue Bombers franchise. Lewis was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005, was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in February 2018, and the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame in 2019.

Family and death

Lewis had three children, two of whom played professional football. Leo Lewis III played as a wide receiver for Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL and the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). Marc Lewis also played as a wide receiver, the for Denver Gold and Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League (USFL) and the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders and the Calgary Stampeders and Barry Lewis.

Lewis died on August 30, 2013 at his home in Columbia, Missouri. He had been battling an illness for some time.[3][4]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Lincoln Blue Tigers (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1973–1975)
1973 Lincoln 5–6 3–3 T–3rd
1974 Lincoln 3–8[n 1] 0–6 7th
1975 Lincoln 4–7 2–4 T–5th
Lincoln: 12–21 5–3
Total: 12–21


  1. ^ Lincoln's 1974 overall record includes a forfeit from Arkansas–Pine Bluff.[5]


  1. ^ "Lincoln U. Selects Leo Lewis". The Kansas City Star. Kansas City, Missouri. Associated Press. March 22, 1973. p. 30. Retrieved July 21, 2020 – via open access.
  2. ^ "Lewis Quits Lincoln Post". Springfield News-Leader. Springfield, Missouri. January 9, 1976. p. 14. Retrieved July 21, 2020 – via open access.
  3. ^ "Former Blue Bombers running back Leo Lewis dies – Manitoba – CBC News". August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Arkansas-Pine Bluff forfeits to Lincoln". The Daily Capital News. Jefferson City, Missouri. October 24, 1974. p. 9. Retrieved July 21, 2020 – via open access.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 February 2021, at 22:34
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