PHS Alumni Honor Roll Member
Leonard Lee Groom
Class of 1964
Leonard Groom has the distinction of being the first Perry High wrestler to win three high school state championships. In terms of his won-loss records in high school and college, and his state and university championships, Leonard is among the top wrestlers that Perry, wrestling capital of American high schools, has produced.
Leonard was born in Perry to Glenwood and Edna Groom. He was one of seven children, all of whom attended Perry Public Schools. Leonard began the sport of wrestling in the second grade under Coach John Divine. During his junior high school years, he wrestled under the tutelage of Coaches Divine and Rex Edgar; and then as a high school wrestler was coached by Rex to win state championships in 1962 at 98 pounds, in 1963 at 106 pounds, and in 1964 at 112 pounds.
At the college level, Leonard in 1966-67 attended Lamar Junior College, where he was coached by Dennis Beitz, had a 17-1 win-loss record, and earned second-place at the National Junior College Tournament at 137 pounds. Leonard then enrolled at Colorado State College (now, the University of Northern Colorado — UNC) for the 1967-68 season. Under Coach Jack LaBone, Leonard won the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1968 at 137 pounds, and the 130 pounds title in 1969. Leonard was Co-Captain of the University of Northern Colorado team in 1968 and Captain in 1969. Leonard won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Championship in 1969 at 130 pounds, and then proceeded to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I National Tournament where he was runner-up, winning second place. During 1969, he was also selected to compete in the prestigious East-West All-American Classic Wrestling meet. In 1969, Leonard earned a 30-1 win-loss record. The University of Northern Colorado honored Leonard with the Dick Hay Memorial Award for being the outstanding athlete of all sports at the University of Northern Colorado in 1969. His multiple championships, his wrestling record of 52 wins and 6 losses while at UNC, and his reputation as “one of the finest collegiate takedown wrestlers of all times” led to his induction in 1994 into the University of Northern Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame.
Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree in Education in 1970 from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master’s degree from Western State College in 1973, as well receiving a Type-D Administration Degree. He served as a coach, teacher and administrator in Colorado mid-level and high schools. As a coach, he won two district championships and produced state champions. Throughout his adult life, Leonard has coached “pee-wee” wrestling and in recreational programs for 13-years-and-under wrestlers.
Leonard and his wife Pat have three daughters — Melinda, Kimberly, and Trish — and three grandsons and three granddaughters. All the family resides in Broomfield, Colorado, and as an employee of Frontier Airlines he and family travel the world, which they much enjoy.