Leo Givs, EHS class of 1979, has excelled in sports and service for many years.
Leo’s journey through academia and sports began with him excelling as an honor roll student from elementary through high school. His first foray into sports was in football and basketball at Eunice Jr. High. This trend of excellence continued at Eunice High School, where he was involved in the Key Club, served as a Class Representative, and presided over the Fireman’s Club. Moreover, he was honored with the Scholastic Award and inducted into the EHS Senior Hall of Fame.
In terms of athletics, Leo demonstrated his prowess in shot put and football at EHS. He self-taught himself the art of shot put, representing EHS for three years and achieving the number one rank in St. Landry Parish. His skill set saw him advancing to the Louisiana High School State Championship Track Meet at LSU. For two consecutive years, he was named the Outstanding Track Fieldman at EHS. On the football field, Leo was recognized as first team All-District and first team All St. Landry Parish at defensive tackle. The Eunice Jaycees honored him as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
Despite multiple football scholarship offers from various schools, Leo had his heart set on attending an HBCU. This dream became a reality when the legendary Eddie Robinson, then the coach for Grambling State University, recruited him to be a G-Man. On a full scholarship, Leo continued his streak of excellence both in academics, where he was frequently named to the Dean’s List or President’s List, and athletics, as a starting offensive guard and member of one of Grambling’s all-time great teams. Leo graduated summa cum laude with a degree in communications, earning a 3.5 GPA and recognition as the highest ranked graduating football player.
With a year of athletic eligibility remaining, Leo chose academics over sports, attending the prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C., for graduate studies completing the mass communication program in just two semesters with a 3.9 GPA. A standout memory from this period was his role as a media aide on Rev. Jesse Jackson’s historic presidential campaign.
Post-graduation, Leo embarked on a career as a Media Spokesperson for the local government of Washington, D.C. Yet, a few years in, he felt a calling to be of more direct service to communities of color. This led to a transition into a career spanning over 30 years as a senior executive with nonprofit and religious organizations. Leo played a foundational role in the Doug Williams Foundation, an initiative stemming from Doug Williams’ historic Super Bowl win as the first African American quarterback. He also served as Director of the Alzheimer’s Association and Director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Washington, D.C.
Leo is happily married to Cathie, and together they have one child. His journey, marked by dedication to academic and athletic excellence, advocacy, and community service, continues to inspire many.
Congratulation Mr. Givs and welcome to the EHS Sports Hall of Fame.