Leonard To Retire in December

By Benjamin Cox on February 25, 2022 at 10:12am

SHG Head Coach Ken Leonard embraces a player after his record-setting 375th win in 2018. (ihsa.org)

A legendary local football coach is going to retire after the upcoming football season.

Sacred Heart-Griffin Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Ken Leonard announced his plans to retire this coming December.

Leonard has been with the high school since 1984, and has been SHG’s athletic director since 2009. He will leave the athletic director position officially in June, according to the announcement released yesterday.

Leonard’s 404-83 overall record spans 42 seasons first beginning with Gridley in 1980. He won 32 games in 4 seasons at Gridley before coming to Springfield.

He took over the Cyclones program — then Griffin — in 1984 and has since chalked up a 372-72 record in 38 seasons at the school, which includes 5 state titles and 4 additional title game appearances.

He became the winningest football coach in IHSA history on September 21, 2018 with his 375th coaching win, defeating his son Derek’s Rochester team 45-6, surpassing Mount Carmel-Chicago’s Frank Lenti.