The late Galen Leatherman was influenced to attend Bluffton by Olin Baumgartner, a Bluffton graduate who was Leatherman’s high school principal and coach. In time, Leatherman became the same kind of leader and role model for others in a lifetime of teaching and coaching.
At Jackson Township High School in Hoytville, Ohio, he was a three-sport letterman who captained his baseball and basketball teams and was president of the senior class.
He then won 10 varsity letters at Bluffton in football, basketball and baseball. He was captain of the baseball and basketball teams, president of Varsity B and elected Most Popular Man while at Bluffton, where he graduated in 1932 with a degree in biological science.
He returned to Hoytville as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent from 1932-42. He also served in the Army for three years, reaching the rank of sergeant. Following his military service, he spent six more years as a superintendent and coach. He stopped coaching in 1951 to concentrate on administrative duties, and he finished his education career in 1976 after serving eight years as an occupational work experience teacher at a vocational school in Milan, Ohio.
He was active in a number of professional organizations and served as president of Hoytville council.
Of those who influenced his life, Leatherman commented, “Olin Baumgartner was a hardworking and dedicated teacher who practiced what he preached. A.C. Burcky taught me to win and lose gracefully, and that winning isn’t everything. The leaders in the field of athletics must make good men better. I have tried to be that type of leader.”
Leatherman died in 1998.