Anthony Leonardo

Induction Year: 2010

Anthony Leonardo

Inducted as a recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award

Anthony J. Leonardo has a successful career as a Yellowjacket athlete, culminating with his graduation in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. From there, he has become a distinguished educator, coach and administrator with a career that spanned 35 years. For that, Mr. Leonardo is a 2010 recipient of the Mertz Mortorelli Coaching Achievement Award. 

As an athlete, Mr. Leonardo was a standout wrestler for the Yellowjackets. In four years, he compiled a record of 74-10, winning three conference championships and qualifying for four NAIA national meets, finishing fifth during his senior year of 1966-67. He was a two-time All-American – 1964 in the 118-pound weight class and again in 1967 in the 123-pound category. 

Mr. Leonardo took his first position in coaching with the Beecher School District in Flint, Mich. in 1967. There, he coached three sports and brought Beecher its first state championship in school history. Mr. Leonardo coached track for two years and won two state championships. As Beecher's freshman football coach, Mr. Leonardo guided the team to two undefeated seasons and two conference championships. He coached future NFL players Carl Banks and Lonnie Young. Mr. Leonardo's wrestling teams at Beecher produced two state runners-up, three third place finishers, six all-state honorees and 16 all-conference selections. 

In 1976 Mr. Leonardo moved on to Grand Blanc (Mich.) High School, where he once again produced the first state champions in school history. Ten of Mr. Leonardo's wrestlers were district champions, ten were conference champions, six were regional champions and 12 qualified for state meets. He also coached six all-state selections while at Grand Blanc. 

Mr. Leonardo left Grand Blanc in 1993 to become a principal in the Bendle Public School system in Burton, Mich., a position he would hold until his retirement in 2002.