U.S. women’s foil team coach Anthony “Buckie” Leach died Saturday in a motorcycle accident while completing a cross-country trip, USA Fencing announced Monday.
Notre Dame University, where Leach had been an assistant coach, also announced his passing. Leach was 62.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Leach coached the women’s foil team. The squad finished fourth in Japan, and Lee Kiefer – a former student of his at Notre Dame – won gold in women’s individual foil to become the first U.S. Olympic champion in the event.
The Tokyo Olympics were Leach’s fifth at the helm (1996, 2000, 2004, 2016) of the women’s foil team, which also finished fourth at the 2000 Sydney Games.
As an assistant at Notre Dame, Notre Dame won three NCAA and ACC championships apiece. He coached 20 All-Americans in five seasons.
“But more important than all of these (accolades) was how Buckie gave so richly and deeply of himself as a teacher, a coach, a leader, and a person,” the Notre Dame fencing team said in a statement. “Every day he was with us, his kindness, decency, and humanity made us all better.”
“I am devastated to learn of the tragic passing of my dear friend Buckie Leach, who was taken from us far too soon,” Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said in a statement. “Buckie’s legacy at Notre Dame and within American fencing stretch far beyond the athletic accomplishments of the fencers and teams that he coached.
“Rather, his enduring memory will be of the incredible person that he was – his kindness, his passion, his sense of humor, and the genuine way he brightened the lives of everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.”
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anthony ‘Buckie’ Leach, USA Fencing coach, dies in motorcycle accident
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