University of the Cumberlands
Untitled Document

Leo White, Jr.

Class of 1980


Leo White, Jr. is a 1980 graduate of Cumberland College, now University of the Cumberlands. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Military Science. White was on full scholarship for judo coming into Cumberland and became involved in the ROTC program, as his father was a retired U.S. Army sergeant. Juggling the military and judo, White claims that Judo was more of a hobby to him. He would work all day, then train at night. His opponents would train all day, yet White still earned his nickname, "The Giant Killer".

Leo has consistently performed as an outstanding Judoka in local, state, national, and international arenas. As a student athlete at Cumberland, White repeatedly distinguished himself as a Kentucky State Judo Champion and a NCJA Ahampion. He won a Bronze Medal in the 1979 Pan American Games and a Gold Medal in the 1980 Pan American Championships. Each year during his college career, White was named as an NCJA All American. After college, White continued his judo interests while serving in the United States Army. He received numerous awards including the 1983 U.S. Military Athlete of the Year and Army Athlete of the Year awards. That same year, he was inducted into the Judo Black Belt Hall of Fame. White's futher career highlights include being the only U.S. judo athlete to win a Senoir National Championship in each of the last 3 decades. He is also a 6 time U.S. Olympic Festival Championship, 4 time U.S. International Invitational Champion, 4 time World Military Champion, and a 2 time member of the U.S. Olympic Judo Team. He has served on the Athlete's Advisory Council to the United States Olympic Committee and as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors, since 1992.

His successes in judo have earned him invitations to the White House, where he's met President Clinton, both Bushes, and legendary entertainer Johnny Carson, among others. White is also invited to the White House once again following the 2008 Olympic Games.

Career Highlights

Current Community Olympic Development Program - Head Coach, Judo, Atlanta

18 Time U.S. Senior National Champion [U.S. record]

4 Time World Military Champion

4 Time U.S. International Invitational Champion

6 Time U.S. Olympic Festival Champion

4 Time Pacific Rims Games - Gold Medalist

Only U.S. Judo Athlete to have won a Senior National Championship in each of the last three decades

Overall 1998 World Masters Champion

U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors [1992-94 Quadrennium] [1996-present]

Athletes Advisory Countil (Aac) to the United States Olympic Committee [1992-94 Quadrennium] [1996-present]

Member National Judo Coaching Staff

Athletes Advisory Council Representative - 1995 Pan American Games

Athletes Advisory Council Representative - 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival

Athletes Advisory Council Representative - 1996 Olympic Games

Honors and Awards

1998 U.S. Judo Champion - Senior Nationals

1995 U.S. Olympic Festival Champion

Member 1992 & 1984 U.S. Olympic Team

Member & Team Captain - 1993 U.S. World Team

1991 Pan American Games Team - Silver Medalist

1991 Pacific Rim Games Team - Gold Medalist

Member 1990 Goodwill Games Team

1993 Pacific Rim Championships - Gold Medalist

U.S. Senior Judo Championships Outstanding Competitor - 1988

1984 Sullivan Award Nominee

Military Athlete of the Year 1983 - Touchdown Club Timmie Award

Army Athlete of the Year - 1983

Member 4 Pan American Games Teams; 4 Time Medalist

Holds record for most medals won by a judo athlete in Pan American Games

U.S. Judo Association Most Improved Player of the year

Judoka of the Year - 1985

Recipient Southland Corporation Olympia Award - 1984

Black Belt Hall of Fame, inducted 1983

4 Time Collegiate Judo Champion

Team Captain for numerous All-Army/Military and International Judo Teams

Member and Team Captain of U.S. Olympic Training Center Judo Team 1985; 1987-1989

White currently operates two speparate judo clubs in Atlanta, GA, while enjoying life with his wife, Jacqueline, who he married in 1991, his son, Leo Edward who was an orange belt at the age of 8, and his mother, Winnifred, who relocated from Seaside in 2002 after White's father passed away.