Former Mayfield football coach Paul Leahy passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 72.
Leahy spent 22 years as an assistant coach at Mayfield under Hall of Famer Jack Morris. When Morris retired after the 1992 season, Leahy took over the next year. After a 2-3 start to the 1993 season, the natives were restless.
“Coach Leahy was out painting his house,” Mayfield football coach Joe Morris remembered. “His neighbor walked out of his house and walked over there and said, ‘You better hang onto that paint brush and those painting clothes there. If you don’t win a few more games, that’s what you’re going to be doing,'” Morris said laughing.
After that conversation, Leahy led the Cardinals to ten-straight wins and the 1993 Class 2A state championship. He helped Mayfield win the 1995 state championship as well. Leahy finished his coaching career in 1998 with a record of 73-12.
When Leahy stepped down, it was time for Joe Morris to take over the Mayfield program. Before he did, Leahy had one piece of advice for Morris.
“He said be yourself,” Morris said. “He told me, ‘You can’t be Coach Leahy; you can’t be your dad. You’ve got to be yourself.’ That’s good advice. He’s one of the reasons I’m right where I am today. He meant a lot to my career as a player and a coach, and I’m definitely going to miss that guy.”
As of Tuesday night, funeral arrangements have not been set yet.