Leonard is a 4-Time, Consecutive Coach of the Year
SoCal announced that CSUSM women’s head volleyball coach, Andrea Leonard, will be joining the staff to coach the 2015-2016 18-1 team at the club this year. Said coaching director Aimee Asebroek, “We have a very long relationship with Andrea and I got to assist her during her inaugural season at CSUSM. It is a high compliment to us that she is going to join us this season and will be coaching one of the very best returning group of players we’ve ever had at SoCal.” Last year’s SoCal 18-1 team qualified for the Junior Olympics although 7 of the 10 members were 17s. Coach Leonard adds, “I would not consider coaching anywhere but SoCal. Their mission and vision is very refreshing in the volleyball world and I look forward to adding to it.”
SoCal has also announced the addition of Volleyball Hall of Fame members and former USA Olympians, Karolyn Kirby and Mary Jo Peppler. “For me, personally, to be around such strong, experienced and knowledgeable coaches is like a classroom for me. Andrea provides such a steady hand in a very volatile environment. For college recruiting, player development and family support, I am overjoyed to have these woman to help guide our families,” says Asebroek.
Andrea Leonard is in her fifth season as head coach of the Cal State San Marcos women’s volleyball team in 2015. She has set a strong foundation since being named the program’s first coach in 2011. In four years, she has compiled a 112-46 (.709) record, including an 16-0 record in A.I.I. Championship play that led to three consecutive conference titles. The Cougars reached the NAIA National Tournament in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. They have also defeated 12 NAIA Top-25 opponents in just three seasons, including six programs ranked in the top-10. The program has had six NAIA All-Americans, 17 All-Conference selections and 14 A.I.I. All-tournament team honorees.
Leonard set the bar high in the Cougars’ inaugural campaign. The young but precocious team — consisting of 10 freshmen and zero seniors — put together a 29-8 overall record and captured the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference title while qualifying for the NAIA tournament. Leonard was awarded A.I.I. Coach of the Year and three of her players garnered all-conference distinction. Freshman Taylor DeGraff became CSUSM volleyball’s first-ever All-American.
Leonard and the Cougars raised the bar even higher in the team’s second season, going 30-15 and once again winning the A.I.I. Conference tournament– this time sweeping all four matches in straight sets. The team then defeated No. 22 Vanguard in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament, and then knocked off No. 6 The Master’s in pool play before falling in a one-set tiebreak that prevented the team from reaching the final 12 teams in bracket play. Leonard was once again named A.I.I. Coach of the Year, and had four All-Conference selections and two players named to the NAIA All-America team.
The Cougars continued their high level of play in 2013 by finishing the season with a 23-12 record. They brought home CSUSM’s third A.I.I. Volleyball Conference Tournament title and made another appearance in the NAIA Championships, this time falling to No. 16 The Master’s College in the first round. Leonard repeated as A.I.I. Coach of the Year while having five student-athletes earn All-Conference honors and two players named to the NAIA All-America team.
In 2014, Leonard guided the Cougars to their fourth consecutive A.I.I. Volleyball Conference title and made their final NAIA Opening Round appearance. She also leaves the A.I.I. Conference with a fourth consecutive Coach of the Year nod. Five Cougars earned All-Conference selections and senior Alyssa Foster earned her third NAIA All-American honor.
Prior to her time at CSUSM, Leonard spent the 2010 season on San Diego State head coach Deitre Collins-Parker’s staff as an assistant coach.
Between 2003-08, Leonard served as head coach at Boston College, leading the program to new heights almost immediately. She oversaw the program’s first 20-win season in 2004, a campaign that included winning the first Big East Challenge and ending Notre Dame’s 58-match win streak, culminating in a trip to the Big East Tournament final. In 2007, Leonard brought in a recruiting class ranked 28th in the nation, and in 2009 helped BC record its first-ever 10-match win streak.
In 2006, Leonard helped Allison Anderson earn first team All-ACC for the second consecutive year, American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I All-Region East Team, as well as AVCA Division I All-America Honorable Mention. Anderson also was honored by being named to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Training Team in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Leonard started the 2004 season with the program’s first win over Rhode Island in 13 years. The Eagles went on to win the first annual Big East Challenge with wins over Rutgers and Connecticut. BC also became the first conference team to sweep Notre Dame in regular-season play at home since 1984, snapping a 58-game Irish win streak. Leonard also coached BC’s first Big East Libero Player of the Year in Allison Anderson.
Academically, her players excelled, as the program posted a 100-percent graduation rate from 2003-08. She coached 10 ACC All-Academic selections, two ACC Post-grad Scholarship recipients, and three ACC Sportsmanship Award winners.
During the summer of 2003, Leonard coached with Bring It Promotions and two teams from the U.S. in the fourth Annual Sibillini Tournament in Comunanza, Italy. Leonard’s Under-20 American team competed against teams from the Czech Republic, Slavia Bratislava, Slovakia, and Hungary and finished a strong third in the tournament.
Prior to BC, Leonard finished a five-season tenure (1998-02) with the University of New Hampshire, where she led the Wildcats to several postseason appearances. Under Leonard’s guidance as an associate head coach in 2002, UNH went 23-11 winning the America East Conference Championship and made an NCAA tournament appearance.
Before UNH, Leonard served as an assistant coach at Ferris State University during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. During her tenure, the Bulldogs were nationally ranked at No. 25 in Division II.
As a player, Leonard was a four-year scholarship student-athlete at Northern Michigan University, helping the team to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight and serving as co-captain in 1990. She began her coaching career in 1992 as a student assistant coach at Northern Michigan before becoming an assistant at Ferris State.
Currently, Leonard is a member of the AVCA Curriculum Committee and serves as the AVCA liaison for assistant coaches.
Leonard holds her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education with a minor in Biology from Northern Michigan.