Michael LeonardTitle: Head Football Coach
Office Location: Spurlock
Office Phone: (317) - 738 - 8128
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Since taking the reins of the Grizzlies' program in 2003, Leonard's top priority has been to instill a collective will among his players to work and play smart. Players will learn how to give their best effort, whether it's in the class room, on the practice field or on game day.
In less than six seasons, Leonard and his staff elevated the Grizzlies to a level not seen for many years at FC. Franklin emerged from also-ran status to winning two consecutive football championships in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
In the fall of 2008, FC not only claimed its second league title outright with a 7-0 conference record, but the "Griz" reached the quarterfinals round of the NCAA Division III playoffs by defeating Otterbein and North Central colleges on the road in the first two rounds. Franklin finished the season with an 11-2 overall record, marking a single-season school-record for team victories. The Grizzlies were ranked eighth in the final D3football.com Top 25 poll at end of the year.
Six Franklin players were named to the All-HCAC First Team, including two Most Valuable Player honorees, and Leonard was named the conference's Coach of the Year for the third straight year. Moreover, the Griz kept the Victory Bell trophy after defeating arch-rival Hanover College for the fourth straight season.
In 2007, Franklin claimed its first HCAC title outright with a 7-0 league mark, and earned its first automatic in the NCAA Division III playoffs, making FC's first post-season appearance of any kind since 1972. The Grizzlies equaled their 2006 school record for most victories in a season with a final overall record of 9-2. A record 10 Franklin players were named to the All-HCAC First Team.
In the 2006 season, the Griz posted a 6-1 record in the league for a second-place finish, and producing a 9-1 overall mark, both best-ever records at Franklin at the time. The Grizzlies narrowly missed an at-large bid to compete in the NCAA playoffs.
In 2009, Franklin finished in a second-place tie in the HCAC standings with a 5-2 record, placing five players on the All-HCAC First Team, and posted a 7-3 overall mark. Moreover, the Griz kept the Victory Bell trophy after defeating arch-rival Hanover College for the fifth straight season.
Leonard owns a 48-26 record in seven seasons at Franklin.
Despite Franklin's recent spectacular successes, the upcoming 2010 season still poses the same challenges for Leonard and his team.
"Our goal that we set every year is to win the conference championship," said Leonard, the 17th head coach in the history of FC's program. "We need to start fast in our first three non-conference games and then finish strong."
Prior to taking the reins of the Grizzlies program, Leonard served as offensive coordinator for his alma mater, Hanover College, from the 1999 through 2002 seasons. In the 2002 campaign, Hanover's offense was ranked fifth in total offense, second in team passing offense and fourth in team scoring offense among all Division III schools.
During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, Leonard served as offensive coordinator at Wittenberg University (Ohio), the winningest football program in NCAA Division III history. He also served as an assistant coach with the professional Recruit Seagulls in Tokyo, Japan, which won the national championship there in 1998.
His other assistant coaching experiences include serving as quarterback coach at Butler University in 1992, coaching wide receivers at College of the Holy Cross (Mass.) in 1991 and serving in his first tenure as offensive coordinator at Hanover from 1987 to 1991. Leonard was a graduate assistant coach at DePauw University (1984-86) and the University of Alabama (1986).