Zack Leonard has been the Head Varsity Sailing Coach at Yale since 2002. Leonard has led the program to sixteen national championships and 4 Fowle Trophies for team of the year in college sailing. As an undergraduate at Yale, Leonard was named an All-American and served as the captain of the sailing team.
Leonard started his collegiate coaching career in 1987 when he led the US Coast Guard Academy varsity sailing team during a leave of absence from Yale. From 1989 to 1992 he was head sailing coach at Brown University where the team won a Fowle Trophy. After a break from coaching, Leonard returned to Yale in the fall of 2000. Under his guidance, the Yale team began to steadily climb the national rankings. In 2002 the team was promoted from club to varsity status. During his tenure at Yale Leonard has led the team to sixteen ICSA National Championships and a total of 39 podium finishes at National Championships. In the spring of 2015, Leonard coached the Bulldogs to an historic sweep of the Women's National Championship, The Co-ed Dinghy National Championship, the National Team Racing Championship and the Fowle Trophy for overall team of the year. Since 2004 the Yale sailing team has produced 100 All-American Sailors.
Yale student-athletes have also been successful in Olympic level competition. Isabelle Kinsolving '02 represented the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Women's 470 class, finishing 5th, while Stuart McNay '05 and Thomas Barrows '10 represented the United States and US Virgin Islands at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2011 Leonard took some time away from Yale and coached Sarah Lihan and the US women’s 470 class leading up to the London Olympics. McNay and Sarah Lihan both competed at the London Games in 2012 and McNay, Thomas Barrows and Joseph Morris represented the US in Rio in 2016.
Leonard is a 4 time US Team Racing Championship (Hinman Trophy) and the UK Team Racing Champion (Wilson Trophy). He’s won US and Canadian National Championships in the Olympic Tornado and a US title in the Vanguard 15. Outside college coaching, Leonard has served as the head coach of the US International 420 team from 2001 to 2015, a coach of the US Olympic Sailing Team at a number of World and Continental Championships and a coach for the US squad at the 1993 Goodwill Games. Leonard was named the 2006 National Coach of the Year for Sailing by the US Olympic Committee and later served for 8 years as a member of the US Olympic Sailing Committee.