Rowan's Leacott to enter Hall

Posted: May 11, 2014

In his own fast-paced world of soccer, Scott Leacott has had little time for reflection, which is why he welcomed one of the great honors of a playing career long ended and a coaching career going strong.

On May 18, Leacott will be inducted into the South Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame in a ceremony at Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood.

Leacott, 42, starred at Delran and enjoyed a successful college career at Division I Philadelphia Textile (now Philadelphia University) and Rowan.

The other inductees will be Giorgio Carini (Williamstown, posthumous), Tim Keegan (Gateway), Lehigh coach Dean Koski (Cherry Hill East), Matt Lucas (Lower Cape May), Joe Otto (Holy Cross), former Delran and Rutgers coach Bob Reasso, and Kirk Russell (Riverside).

Leacott has been the head women's coach at Rowan since 1999, and his teams have earned nine consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

Once one season ends, Leacott immediately prepares for another. So, being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a brief interruption that allows introspection.

"When I got selected, it was a great feeling and makes you take a step back," he said.

And when he allowed himself to look back, Leacott certainly enjoyed the view.

He was part of two state-championship teams at Delran, in 1986 and his senior year in 1988. Leacott scored 25 goals as a senior for a Delran team that went 20-0-1 and shared the Group 2 state title with Chatham after the two played to a scoreless draw in the final.

From there, he went to Philadelphia Textile and scored 20 goals in two seasons, going to the NCAA tournament as a freshman.

After his sophomore season, he thought the program wasn't progressing, so he transferred to Rowan and totaled 30 goals and 14 assists in two years, earning all-American honors as a senior.

"The thing about Scott that stood out was when he got the ball at his feet, nobody was getting it back," said Dan Gilmore, who coached Leacott at Rowan and remains in charge of the program. "He had the quickest turn I have ever seen, as good as any player I have ever coached."

Leacott briefly played professionally for the Milwaukee Wave of the American Airlines outdoor series and then was injured while competing for the Harrisburg Heat of the National Professional Soccer League in training camp and was released.

He began assisting Gilmore at Rowan with the men's program and then was an assistant for the women in 1998 before taking over the next year. Leacott has been there since and considers himself fortunate that he has never had to stray far while pursuing a coaching career.

"I have had three to four good [job] opportunities to move on, but I have always felt very comfortable here, and my family is here, and everything is here," Leacott said. "Not many people can become full-time coaches in their backyard."

Leacott is representing one of South Jersey's hotbed soccer areas in Delran, which has produced two of the greatest players in area history, Peter Vermes and Carli Lloyd.

The Delran boys' program won its eighth state title last fall.

"Growing up, the soccer community in Delran was unbelievable," Leacott said. "I spent my whole life watching Peter Vermes play, and he would always train with us a lot."

Leacott did his part to help this great tradition, and now, in the midst of his busy schedule, he will earn his just due along with the rest of the new Hall of Fame inductees.

For more on the Hall of Fame, visit www.eteamz.com/SouthJerseySoccerHallofFame.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|