It’s a partnership that is now well into its second decade at three different schools and Assistant Coach Charlie Leonard is helping Head Coach Johnny Jones continue the success they had in their previous partnerships at Memphis and North Texas.
After two seasons as assistant coach, Leonard moves into the DIrector of Operations position where many of PR and management skills from outside the game will be used to help the LSU Basketball program to go with his vast knowledge of the game both on and off the floor.
In his three seasons on the floor coaching, he was part of an LSU staff that helped Coach Jones win 61 games, the most by any head coach in his first three seasons at LSU and the only one to take a team to post-season play in two of the first three years.
It is Leonard’s varied and successful background that has made him an important part of the staff at LSU. That background comes in play both on and off the floor and his longtime coaching experience is a benefit to help the LSU basketball program.
Leonard has now served 15 total seasons with Jones at LSU (3), North Texas (11, 2001-12) and Memphis (1, 1999-2000).
As Director of Operations, Leonard will aid Coach Jones in adminstrative areas such as travel and scheduling and he has already shown his abilities by putting together and directing the highly successful and in many sessions, record-breaking numbers of Coach Jones’ summer basketball camps. He also assists in some of the public relations aspects for the LSU basketball program as well as other duties assigned by the head coach.
Leonard’s experience in coaching basketball dates back to 1975 when he started a career that began at Memphis (Tenn.) Prep School and includes a 12-year tenure at Christian Brothers High School. Later, he served for seven seasons heading the program at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
Leonard had winning seasons in six consecutive years and had 20 or more wins three times during his 1990-97 tenure at Christian Brothers University. He was a two-time NAIA District 24 Coach of the Year and is the school’s third winningest coach with 127 victories. His best team was in 1993-94 when Christian Brothers posted a 24-8 record that earned him Coach of the Year honors in the Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Leonard’s 1994-95 CBU team topped the nation in all classifications in free throw shooting percentage.
With the Tigers of LSU winning 20 games a season ago, Leonard has been involved with college teams that have won 20 or more games nine times.
He also served as assistant athletic director at CBU where he gained valuable experience in the administrative side of running an athletic program, including working in promotions, fund-raising and with the compliance rules as set down by the NCAA. For his coaching and playing career at Christian Brothers University, he was elected to the CBU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
At Christian Brothers High School, his team won a state championship in 1987 and sent more than 20 of his players on to play college basketball. He also was named the District Coach of the Year four times.
After leaving CBU, Leonard took his skills and opened and served as president of his own consulting firm in Memphis.
There is no doubt he has continued to succeed at every level of the game and he is continuing to help LSU and Coach Jones succeed in a big way.
The Leonard File
Years at LSU: Fourth
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
College: Christian Brothers, 1975
College Coaching Experience
1990-97: Head Coach, Christian Brothers University
1999-2000: Assistant Coach, Memphis
2001-12: Assistant Coach, North Texas
2012-15: Assistant Coach, LSU
2015- : Director of Operations, LSU