J. Leonard Mauck

Class of 1929 / Inducted 1972 - Charter Member / Football

J. Leonard Mauck is a charter member of Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame. Mauck was a key contributor of the 1927-28 football teams what went undefeated. He also lettered in basketball during the 1928 and 1929 seasons, during which years the Wasps won back-to-back Smoky Mountain Conference Championships.

Mauck started his collegiate career at Shepherd College in West Virginia before transferring to Concord College. He transferred to Emory & Henry to play for head coach Pedie Jackson. Mauck was a fullback and center in 1927 and moved to quarterback for the 1928 season. He received the C. B. Bowyer Award for Most Valuable Athlete at Emory & Henry in 1929.

After graduating, Mauck taught and coached football, boys and girls basketball, and baseball in Washington County. After two years, he became the assistant principal at Saltville High School and continued coaching those four sports. The Saltville football team was undefeated in the 1934-36 seasons, winning 26 straight games and going 29 games without defeat. His Saltville team’s record was 44-3-1 over five years.

In 1940, Mauck received a master’s degree from UVA. In 1948, he became the superintendent of Smyth County Schools, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement in 1974. During his time as superintendent, he transformed the district from a collection of one-room schoolhouses to a modern system. He served a term as president of the Virginia Association of School Administrators and remained active within Smyth County schools after his retirement as an administrative consultant.

Mauck’s devotion to athletics led to the formation of the Burley Belt Baseball League, serving southwest Virginia and east Tennessee. He served as a member of the James Madison University Board of Visitors from 1964-70 and from 1974-78. The JMU baseball stadium was named in his honor.

Mauck received numerous other honors and recognitions for his devotion to education, athletics, and community; among these awards were Marion Rotary’s Man of the Year, Outstanding Leadership of the School System of Smyth County from the Marion Chamber of Commerce, a Doctorate of Humanities Honorary Degree from Emory & Henry in 1968, and an Outstanding Alumnus Award from his high school alma mater in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in 1975. In 1998, he was inducted posthumously as a charter member of the Smyth County Hall of Fame.

Leonard Mauck died on May 11, 1984 at the age of 77.