Coach Charles Leathers Track & Field Dedication

Coach Charles Leathers Track & Field Dedication
Posted on 07/21/2020

Coach Leathers came to North in 1992, ushering in a run of success at both the local and state level. He led the North Girls Track Team to state wide prominence with nine CIF Southern Section Titles (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007), three California State Titles (1999, 2000, 2002) and two Boys CIF Southern Section Titles (2006, 2007). He is the first coach in Riverside County to coach two teams to a CIF title in the same year, achieving this milestone twice in 2006 and 2007. His teams won more CIF and State titles than any school in Inland Empire history. 

Under the leadership and guidance of Coach Leathers, over 20 North athletes received NCAA Division I scholarships, the following winning CIF State titles: Joanna Hayes (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, 1995); Nicole Hoxie (100 hurdles, 1996, 1997); Nichole Denby (100 hurdles, 1999, 2000); Ashley Brown (300 hurdles, 2001- 2003, 100 hurdles 2003); North Girls (1,600 relay, 2000); Chaunte Howard (high jump, 2002); Lena Bettis (long jump, 2002), and North Boys (1,600 relay, 2006). Coach Leathers’ Track and Field program has produced athletes who have competed for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team including Joanna Hayes, the 2004 Olympic Champion in the 100 meter hurdles, Chaunte Howard, a member of four Olympic Teams in 2004, 2008 (bronze medal in high jump), 2012 and 2016 and Whitney Ashley, a member of the 2016 Olympic Team in the discus. 

Following his passing in the spring of 2018, a celebration of life was held in the J.W. North High School gymnasium, sponsored by the many athletes who loved and respected him. Coach Leathers will be remembered for touching the lives of North students as a special education teacher and track and field coach. He commanded tremendous respect in the classroom as well as on the athletic field, had high expectations for students, and modeled sportsmanship and integrity. Quiet and extremely humble, Charles Leathers was a powerful leader of young people, a mentor, friend and role model, and brought tremendous pride to the J.W. North campus and Husky community. 

During his time as a Husky, Coach Leathers worked his athletes hard and expected only their best. His expectations were never minimized by the quality of North’s track and field facility at the time. Consisting of a dirt track that required daily raking to remove rocks and debris, and the original set of wooden bleachers, North’s “facility” was a breeding ground of success and life lessons. Coach Leathers rose above obstacles. He coached future collegiate and Olympic athletes. He developed in his athletes, character and constitution. Most importantly, he made no excuses. He modeled tremendous perseverance and work ethic. A True North Legend.