Tucson and the Pueblo community mourns the loss of former Warrior and Detroit Lion Leonard Thompson

(Oklahoma State Photo)

Leonard Thompson
July 28, 1952 – August 17, 2021

Former Pueblo football standout Leonard Thompson passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the age of 69. An honorable mention All-City running back with the Warriors in 1970, Thompson went on to play for Arizona Western where he helped the program win a national championship before transferring to play for Oklahoma State in 1973 and 1974.

Thompson threw a 40-yard touchdown pass in the final moments of the 1974 Fiesta Bowl to help OSU beat BYU 16-6. From there, Thompson was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1975 and he went on to play 12 seasons with 277 career catches for 4,682 career yards in 175 games.

Thompson is considered the best player to ever get drafted in the 194 spot, surrounded by Shannon Sharpe (192), Antonio Brown (195) and Terrell Davis (196).

“My sincere condolences to the entire Thompson family,” former Pueblo and ASU basketball standout Lafayette Lever wrote to the family. “I didn´t personally know Leonard but just learned about a tremendous person. Sorry for your loss and as a Pueblo graduate and From S Tucson “once a warrior always a warrior”… stay blessed.”

Services are set for the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on 1401 E. Jefferson Street in Phoenix Thursday (Aug. 26) morning at 11 a.m.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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