Leigh Williams, who died of Leukemia in 1940 just a day short of his 32nd birthday, was one of those rare breeds of athletes who starred in several sports. At W & L, from 1927-32, he earned 16 letters, four each in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Basketball and track were his best, however as a 6-3 center for Coach R.A. (Capn Dick) Smith’s basketball squads, Williams led the Generals to seasons of 11-0 as a freshman, 16-2 as a sophomore, 16-4 as a junior and 11-6 as a senior. During that era of the center jump and low-scoring games, Capn Dick’s W&L squad was known as the “Point-A-Minute” team and usually beat the Southern Conference opponents by scores of 57-12, and 65–20.
During the 1928-29 season, for example, the Generals defeated Maryland by scores of 44-22 and 42-18, Virginia Tech by 44-25, 45-17, and 36-17, and the University of Virginia 47-19 and 50-30. The only regular season loss was by one point, 31-30, to Kentucky. The following year, teams led by Williams defeated Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland twice.
In track, a sport in which Williams had never competed before enrolling at Washington & Lee, he reigned as Southern Conference champion in the 440-yard dash as a junior and won the race every time he ran it as a senior.
In baseball Williams played first base, but Capn Dick would call on him occasionally to pitch. He once shut out Virginia Tech. Williams was a team captain three times in two sports, the freshman basketball squad, as a senior on the varsity basketball team, and as a junior in baseball. He also served as President of the Monogram Club and Vice-President of the Athletic Association.