Dr. Richard Leonard’s professional knowledge and experience in sports administration is in the tangible, real-world development and operation of NCAA athletic programs. For six seasons, he was the head women’s volleyball coach at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Under his leadership as a head coach and his guidance as a program administrator, he led the team to a record of 144-69. His GSU team still holds the best winning percentage in school history at .676. He was named Trans American Coach of the Year in 2000 and the Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2003. The GSU program won five different conference titles during that period as well as a multitude of post-season individual awards.
Prior to Georgia State, Leonard spent four seasons as associate head coach at Saint Louis University. During his tenure, the Billikens compiled a 91-59 mark, including a 29-10 record and a trip to the Volleyball National Invitational Tournament.
Leonard‘s first coaching position was at the University of North Florida. The UNF Ospreys went to the NAIA National Championship in the first two years of intercollegiate competition. In the team‘s first season as an NCAA Division II member, UNF gained a top 15 national ranking and a number one ranking in the Southeastern United States Region.
In addition to his coaching duties, Leonard has served as an adjunct and assistant professor of business for numerous colleges and universities. He has taught classes in entrepreneurship and all levels of management, as well as a range of marketing classes. He is currently an associate professor and chair of the Department of Business Administration and Accounting at Flagler College in Tallahassee, Florida. Additionally, Leonard is an adjunct professor of sports management at the United States Sports Academy, teaching human resource management, marketing, and fundraising at the graduate level, as well as strategic management at the doctoral level.
Leonard was a member and player in the United States Volleyball Association from 1980 to 1997 and was AA rated. He was on four USVB regional championship teams and seven USVB semifinalist and finalists. During his playing career, his teams have won more than 125 tournaments and league championships. Additionally, Leonard served as a USVBA Regional Tournament Director and Regional Marketing Director. He is US Volleyball CAP Level II certified and US Volleyball Critical Thinking Seminar certified. He also has his ACEP certification.
Leonard has written numerous articles in the field of sports administration. These articles (published by the American Volleyball Coaches Association—the governing body of the sport) encompass every aspect of sport management including planning, organization, human resource management, and strategic management. His main focus over the past four years has been publishing textbooks. Leonard‘s second textbook, The Administrative Side of Coaching: Applying Business Concepts to Athletic Program Administration and Coaching (2nd ed., 2008), is published by Fitness Information Technology. He (in collaboration with two colleagues) presented a paper to the Society for the Advancement of Management‘s (SAM) International Conference entitled Employee generated separation: A new attitude. The article was published in the SAM‘s quarterly journal in 2009.
As the program coordinator for the Jewish Community Center in Pinellas County, Florida, Leonard was involved in far-reaching fundraising activities. Due to the not-for-profit status of the organization, fundraising was a continuous and imperative activity. The diversity of fundraising activities with which Leonard was involved in his five years at the J.C.C. are too numerous to list. As a collegiate coach in a non-revenue classified Olympic sport, Leonard continued operating wide-ranging fundraising programs, including his proprietary summer camp operation, which in a four-year period experienced over 400% growth.
Leonard has a bachelor‘s degree in accounting from Robert Morris University, an MBA in management from Florida Metropolitan University—Tampa College, and a PhD in administration and management from Walden University. He has certifications in strategic management and leadership from the American Management Association as well as certifications in professional learning, collaborative learning, and classroom management.