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IRSC Honors Storied Careers of Two Distinguished Coaches

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Photo courtesy IRSC
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IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore (right) is pictured with Mike Easom, retired IRSC Baseball Coach (center), and Mike Leatherwood, retired IRSC Basketball Coach (left)

Fort Pierce-April 1, 2022: Indian River State College (IRSC) honored two of its most distinguished coaches—Mike Easom, retired IRSC Baseball Coach, and Mike Leatherwood, retired IRSC Basketball Coach—with the naming of the IRSC baseball field the Mike Easom Field and the gymnasium court the Mike Leatherwood Court. The distinct recognitions were conferred to Easom and Leatherwood at the IRSC District Board of Trustee meeting on Tuesday, March 22.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to publicly honor Mike Easom and Mike Leatherwood for their contributions to Indian River’s athletics program,” states Scott Kimmelman, IRSC Athletics Director. “We are celebrating a lifetime of dedication and commitment to IRSC student-athletes—including a combined total of 1,716 wins between these two gentlemen.”

Easom joined IRSC in 1975 as Head Baseball Coach before being named Athletic Director in 1990. As the IRSC baseball coach, Easom led the Pioneers to win four state championships and nine Southern Conference championships. Easom coached 125 players who went on to professional baseball careers—including nine who played in the major leagues.

He additionally coached the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team in 1992, and was Head Coach of the NJCAA All-Star Team—winning 4 out of 5 games in Japan in 2000. Before his retirement in 2006, Easom became the “winningest” coach in community college baseball history, leading the Pioneers to 1,013 victories during his career.

“My wife and I moved here in 1975, and I spent 31 years of my life at this College doing something I always loved,” shares Easom. “I will hold dearly to what I did here for the rest of my life, and this honor is something special.”

Leatherwood began employment at IRSC in 1970 as a physical education instructor and Men’s Head Basketball Coach. A dedicated educator, Leatherwood served as the Physical Education Department Chair and as Men’s Intramurals Advisor for more than a decade.

After 629 victories, Coach Leatherwood earned recognition as the “winningest” basketball coach in FCSAA history—an honor that includes coaching the Pioneers at 20 State tournaments and the 1975 State Championship title. He achieved 703 victories over 37 seasons of coaching before his retirement in 2009.

“The games are great, they are fun, and they are exciting,” recounts Leatherwood. “Behind the scenes, it can be tough, but my years at Indian River were truly great. I thank God for the opportunity to be here.”

Congratulations to both Easom and Leatherwood for their well-earned recognitions.