Athletics News

Tuffy Leemans
Tuffy  Leemans

Football (Inducted 1959)



Former George Washington University and New York Giants Football great Alphonse E. (Tuffy) Leemans, who passed away January 19, 1979, was inducted into the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1959.

Leemans received his bachelor's degree in physical education from GW in 1937. During his years at GW, he set football records for most yards gained (2,382), most points (103), and most rushing attempts (190), which still stood when GW discontinued football in 1966. He played in the 1936 College All-Star game where he led the All-Stars to a stunning 7-7 tie with the NFL champion Detroit Lions. Leemans was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

He played eight years of professional football with the Giants. In his rookie year let the NFL in rushing with 830 yards and was the only rookie to make the All-NFL team. When he was with the Giants, they made the playoffs four times, and in 1938 he scored the first touchdown in the Giants 23-17 victory over Green Bay for the NFL title.

In 1943, he was forced to retire from football due to injuries sustained in the 1942 season. In 1953, he returned to Washington and coached at Carroll High School where he stayed until 1960. In 1978, Mr. Leemans was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

At the time of his death, he was owner of the Glenmont Bowling Lanes in suburban Maryland.