Zachary Leonard
Zachary Leonard
Previous College: Yale '89
Position: McNay Family Director of Yale Sailing

Zachary Leonard is the McNay Family Director of Yale Sailing. Leonard, a 1989 graduate of Yale with a degree in philosophy, has been at the helm of the Yale sailing program since its inception as a varsity sport in 2002. In that time, Leonard has led the program to three national championships and a persistent place at the top of the national rankings. As an undergraduate at Yale, Leonard competed for the club sailing team in each year of his enrollment. While at Yale, he was named an All-American Skipper in 1987 and served as the captain of the sailing team. Leonard started his collegiate coaching career in 1987. He led the Coast Guard Academy varsity sailing team as their coach during a leave of absence from Yale in 1987-1988, after which he returned to Yale to complete his degree. Following graduation in 1989, Leonard became the head sailing coach at Brown, a position that he held until 1992. Leonard led the team to the Fowle Trophy, which is awarded to the top team in college sailing based upon performance over the course of the season in all collegiate sailing events. After a break from being a collegiate coach, Leonard returned to coaching college sailing in the fall of 2000 when he took over the Yale team, which at the time was a club sport. Under Leonard's guidance, the team began to steadily climb the national rankings and both the coed and women's sailing teams were named varsity sports prior to the start of the spring 2002 season. In the team's first regatta as a varsity sport, the coed team cemented its place among the nation's top programs with a victory at the Charleston Spring Intersectional. During his tenure as the head coach and McNay Family Director of Yale Sailing, Leonard has led the team to three ICSA National Championships and a total of 10 finishes in the top three positions at the national championships. Most recently, in the fall of 2007, Leonard coached the Bulldogs' Thomas Barrows to a men's single-handed national championship in the Laser, the first men's single-handed national championship in Yale sailing's esteemed history. While Leonard's student-athletes have certainly been successful in the college sailing environment, his successful training methods have also helped a number of his former team members qualify and compete in the Olympics. Most recently, Isabelle Kinsolving '02 represented the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Women's 470 class while Stuart McNay '05 will represent the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Men's 470 class. As an athlete, Leonard has achieved a wide variety of sailing success, especially in team racing and the Tornado class catamaran. He has won the US Team Racing Championship (Hinman Trophy) four times, has placed as high as fifth at the team race world championship and is a past English Team Racing Champion. Leonard trained for and waged two Olympic campaigns in the Tornado class for the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. He has been a member of the US Sailing Team in the Tornado class and has been a US and Canadian National Champion in the class. Outside of collegiate coaching, Leonard has been a coach of the US International 420 team, a coach of the US Olympic Sailing team at a number of world championships and Olympic Trials, and a coach for the US squad at the 1993 Goodwill Games. Leonard was named the 2006 National Coach of the Year by US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee as part of the US Olympic Committee Coach Recognition Program.

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