John Leonard begins his fourth season as an assistant coach at Massachusetts, and his 12th year in his third tour of duty as a member of Steve Lappas' coaching staff.
Leonard joined the UMass staff from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, where he spent two years (1999-2001) as Assistant Commissioner / Operations. At the MAAC, he directed 22 of the league's 24 championship events, developed league schedules for several sports and oversaw the conference awards and merchandise programs.
Prior to joining the MAAC office, Leonard spent three seasons (1996-1999) as head coach at Manhattan College. He served as an assistant coach on Lappas' staff at both Manhattan (1988-1992) and Villanova (1992-1996) before returning to his alma mater as head coach.
Leonard first entered the coaching ranks as an assistant at Lehman College (1983-1985), where he worked for three years. He then spent three years as head coach at SUNY-Maritime (1985-1988) before joining Lappas at Manhattan.
A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Leonard graduated from Manhattan in 1982, where he was a four-year letterman, two-time team Most Valuable Player and team captain as a senior in 1981-1982. A 10th-round draft pick of the NBA's New York Knicks in 1982, he ranks as the eighth-leading scorer in Manhattan history with 1,329 points. Leonard played one season for the Albany Patroons of the CBA (for former Knicks star Dean Memminger and current Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson). He remains the last Jasper to be drafted by the NBA.
Leonard and his wife, Cynthia, reside in Amherst with their three children, Alyssa (14), Brianna (12) and John, Jr. (8).