In 2008, Leach was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
Leach was a star quarterback at the University of Michigan from 1975 to 1978 under legendary coach Bo Schembechler. A left-hander, he was given the starting job before his freshman year and held it until he graduated four years later. In his freshman year, with the Big Ten championship and the 1976 Rose Bowl on the line in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, Leach would throw an interception that was run back for a touchdown by Ray Griffin that would be the final score in a 21-14 Buckeye win. However, Leach and the Wolverines would never lose to Ohio State again in his career. One of the finest athletes in Michigan history, Leach was named All-Big Ten as a quarterback three times and also placed in the voting for the Heisman Trophy three times. He was co-most valuable player in the 1979 Rose Bowl.
Leach shattered all Michigan's career passing, total offense and touchdown records. He set an NCAA record for most touchdowns accounted for (82) and broke Big Ten records for total offense (6,460) total plays (1,034) and touchdown passes (48). In 1978, he finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy, behind Billy Sims and Chuck Fusina.
A standout on the diamond as well as the gridiron, Leach won the Big Ten batting championship as a junior and won the rare honor of being named All-American in both football and baseball. He was selected in the first round by the Detroit Tigers in the 1979 amateur draft. Leach was also drafted by the NFL's Denver Broncos, but he opted for a career in baseball.
In 1999, Sports Illustrated published a list of "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan" (in all sports), and ranked Leach 22nd. "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Michigan," Sports Illustrated, December 27, 1999. The only other Michigan Wolverines football figures included on the list were Bennie Oosterbaan (#3), Ron Kramer (#7), Fielding Yost (#9), Fritz Crisler (#31), Harry Kipke (#40) and Gerald Ford (#50).