1989 – FOOTBALL
Leo R. Koceski, a native of Canonsburg, was an outstanding running back at the University of Michigan, after two All-WPIAL football seasons at Canonsburg High School in 1945 and 1946.
Koceski scored 19 touchdowns in 1946, his senior season at Canonsburg and was a sprinter and long jumper in track. He selected Michigan from approximately 40 college offers and was a varsity halfback in his sophomore year when the Wolverines won the national championship in 1948 under famed head coach Fritz Crisler.
In Koceski’s junior and senior seasons, Michigan was co-champion with Ohio State in 1949 and Big 10 and Rose Bowl champion in 1950, when the Wolverines defeated Ohio State 9-3 in a heavy snowstorn in Columbus to clinch the title. Michigan then beat California 14-6 in the 1951 Rose Bowl.
Koceski, who did not play high school baseball because Canonsburg did not have a team, played the outfield on two Big 10 championship teams at Michigan and was elected captain in 1951. He received the university’s Big 10 award as an outstanding athlete and scholar.
He resides in Dearborn Heights, MI. and is employed as a sales representative for Wilsonart Co. He is married and has three sons.