A star on Yale’s varsity tennis team in the 1970’s, Cary Leeds went on to become a world-ranked player, a Wimbledon mixed doubles semi-finalist, and a renowned coach for gifted youngsters. His father, Larry Leeds ’50, also a former Yale athlete, has made a lasting tribute to Cary’s memory by endowing the Cary Leeds Head Coach for Men’s Tennis.
“Cary loved teaching young players. He gave of himself. It is this extension of Cary’s spirit that we want to continue at Yale, so that his college tennis experience has meaning and value to future generations of Yale players and to the University he loved so much,” says Larry Leeds.
Cary played number one singles and doubles at Yale winning the ITCA National Doubles Indoor Collegiate Championship with Matt Doyle in 1977. After graduating with a B.A. in economics and political science, he competed in the World Professional Tennis Circuit for six years, qualifying twice for the main draw in the U.S. Open and proceeding to the second round. He competed in six U.S. Opens and five Wimbledon tournaments, where in 1981 he reach the semifinals in mixed doubles.
Cary retired from professional tennis in the mid-1980s and then attended the Wharton School of Business. Subsequently, he co-founded InterWorld, a New York -based software company. At the same time, he enthusiastically taught tennis to up-and-coming young players – many of whom are competing professionally today. It was a passion that endured for the rest of his life. In 2003, his book on the mechanics of athleticism, The Unified Theory of Sports, was published posthumously.
“We are extremely pleased that Cary’s name will forever be linked with our tennis program,” says Tom Beckett, Yale Director of Athletics. “The support provided by the Leeds endowment will continually encourage our tennis coaches and players in their ongoing pursuit of excellence.”
Dedicated April 2006