James “Leroy” Dreyer, age 90, died peacefully at his home in Brenham on January 30th, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Brenham, Texas on February 9th, 1930 to Charlie and Leona Dreyer, Leroy attended Brenham High School where he played football and basketball. Leroy was the first JUCO All-American football player at Blinn, also lettering in basketball and baseball. He then earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, his master's degree from Sam Houston State, and had post-graduate hours from Texas A&M University and The University of Texas.
Not only did he achieve great accomplishments academically and athletically, but he also was introduced to the love of his life, June, while attending Blinn. June and Leroy were married on August 30th, 1950 and had three beautiful children James “Jim” Leroy Dreyer Jr. and twin daughters Joan Lynn and Janet Leigh Dreyer. In 1958, he started working at Blinn as the assistant football coach, and the following year became the head baseball coach. Shortly after, he accepted the athletic director position, becoming the backbone of athletics at Blinn College.
He was instrumental in building Blinn’s athletic department into one of the best in the nation. He was the head baseball coach for 27 years (1959-86), leading the team to five appearances in the NJCAA World Series and a .724 winning percentage (653-249). He also launched the women’s basketball program and had stints as the head men’s basketball coach and head football.
Leroy Dreyer was named Texas Junior College Coach of the Year 12 times, while coaching 23 NJCAA All-Americans, 52 future professional ball players and five future big leaguers. He was awarded the 1974 Hap Morse Award for Texas Baseball Coach of the Year, the 1982 NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Award for Leadership, and was named the 1985 ABCA/Topps Coach of the Year. He was also recognized by the Texas-New Mexico Baseball Coaches Association (an organization he helped form) for outstanding lifetime leadership and service.
In 1986, Leroy Dreyer Field, home to the Blinn Buccaneers and acclaimed as one of the top junior college baseball facilities in the nation, was dedicated in his honor. His number, 34, was also retired by the school. In 2015, Blinn College created the Leroy Dreyer MVP Diamond Award to be given annually to the most valuable player of the Blinn baseball team. Dreyer was the first Junior College coach to ever be named to the American Baseball Coaches Association Executive Committee, serving as the 4th Vice President.
In 2017, he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame. Earlier in his career, he was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the NJCAA Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Karl Young Baseball League Hall of Fame the Blinn College Ex-Student Hall of Fame, and the Brenham High School Football Hall of Honor.
Following his retirement, Dreyer was a professional baseball scout for both the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets. Outside of baseball and athletics, his passions were his family, fishing, working in the yard, grilling, and watching old western shows. He was also a lifelong member of the Elks Lodge and a member of the national guard.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years June Whiddon Dreyer, daughters Janet Dreyer and Joan Dreyer Koonce (Phil). Grandchildren Jana Leigh Crowe (Shane), Spencer Margaret Bruno (Russell), Tara Dreyer, Amy Eads (Barry), Branden Emmons (DeAnn), Brittany Koonce Acosta (Nicholas) and Kellye Koonce Maxie (Seth). Great-Grandchildren Grace Crowe, Addison Crowe, Chase Crowe, Parker Bruno, Price Bruno, Emma Eads, Asher Emmons, Zayn Emmons, Lucas Acosta, Luisa Acosta, Magnolia Maxie and Mollie Maxie. Sister-in-law Ann Dreyer and niece Kelli Dreyer Terbush and nephews Mike Dreyer, Kevin Dreyer and Patrick Dreyer, Tommy Whiddon (Jeannie) and Dr. Randy Bailey (Kelly) and numerous nieces and nephews. Leroy was preceded in death by his parents, his son Jim Dreyer, his brother Gene Dreyer and grandson Derrick Emmons.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to the nurses and staff at Traditions Home Health and Hospice along with granddaughter Jana Crowe. The care given to Leroy was beyond exceptional.
A visitation will be held starting on Wednesday, February 3, from 7 a.m. -7 p.m. and on Thursday, February 4, from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The family will be present to greet relatives and friends on Thursday from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. During visitation, the family is asking that masks be worn, and social distancing guidelines be followed. A private family funeral service will be held Friday, February 5, at the First United Methodist Church of Chappell Hill with interment to follow at Prairie Lea Cemetery. A Celebration of Life with be held at Leroy Dreyer Baseball Field at Blinn College at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to either June Dreyer sent to Chase Bank 303 N. Market Street Brenham, Texas 77833 for their great-grandchildren’s college funds or June and Leroy Dreyer Endowed Scholarship made via online at Blinncollegefoundation.com or sent to 902 College Avenue Brenham, Texas 77833.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.
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