Edward Leibinger* 2014

Official / Coach / Athletic Director

Tonawanda City Schools  

Over a 50-year span, Mr. Edward J. Leibinger was one of the most influential individuals involved in the sport of swimming. 

He made an impact as not only a coach and official in the sport, but also as Director of Physical Education and Athletics at Tonawanda High School. Leibinger Leibinger helped pioneer the sport of swimming by first acting as NYSPHSAA Swimming Chairman from 1954-88 where he led a State committee to help develop a sport in need of growth. 

In Section VI, he founded the Niagara Frontier Officials Association (NFOA) and became the Charter President in 1958. He remained a member of the NFOA for 36 years and also served as a representative or chairman on several other committees during that time, including the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations and the New York State Certified Swimming Officials Association (NYSCSOA).  He served terms as Vice President and President for the NYSCSOA during the 70’s. Furthermore,  Leibinger was appointed President of the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association and appointed a member of the United States Olympic Diving Committee from 1968-72. 

Prior to his service to various committees and organizations,  Leibinger broke into the sport in 1946 when he became the swim coach and physical education teacher at Tonawanda High where he continued to coach until 1972. Over the course of his coaching career he  compiled a  247-76  record, won  10  Section VI  Swim Championships, 8 Niagara Frontier League Championships, the Eastern United States Championships in 1962, and produced 12 All- American swimmers. He also was an assistant coach for track and football at Tonawanda. 

After retiring from coaching in 1972, Leibinger worked as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics for the Tonawanda District for 10 years. Many organizations have recognized and honored Leibinger for his hard work. In 1979 he was inducted into the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 1985 he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. 

A Lockport native, Leibinger graduated from Riverside High School (Buffalo) in 1937, received his Bachelors degree from Indiana University and his Masters degree from the University of Buffalo.

 Inducted into NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame in 2005

 * Posthumously awarded