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Flagler professor takes coaching to the next level in new textbook

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Richard Leonard

Dr. Richard Leonard, Flagler College’s Chair of Business and Accounting in Tallahassee, is putting out his fourth textbook this month.

April 10, 2013

Dr. Richard Leonard knows that working for most sports programs means doing a lot more than putting a whistle around your neck and coaching.

Flagler College’s Chair of Business and Accounting in Tallahassee certainly had the day-to-day experience, and he’s an expert in the field, having written his third textbook “Fundraising for Sport and Athletics” (2012) as well as his fourth textbook “Principles of Sports Administration” (2013). The latest version of the book comes out in print this month.

Leonard was an athlete far before he majored in business.

“Being born and raised in Pittsburgh, athletics were a part of daily life,” said Leonard, who was an athlete in high school, college and the US Volleyball Association for years and held a college volleyball coaching job for 13 years, mostly in the NCAA Division I level.

Leonard’s fundraising and administrative experience came from working several years as a Program Administrator for the Jewish Community Center in Pinellas County. The experience gave him a bridge between athletics, business, and fundraising.

“Every day was a fundraiser,” he said, adding a litany of monetary needs for the center. “Children programs, adult programs, family programs, senior programs, direct mailers, and special events were a daily occurrence.”

What he was doing, he said, was running a small business.  And most sports programs operate this way.

“Contrary to belief, an overwhelming number of athletic programs are in serious need of funds,” he explained. “Coaches and athletic executives sometimes know little or nothing about program administration for sports. It’s not only about recruiting, travel and monitoring academics; it’s also about fundraising. Very few coaches have fundraising backgrounds.”

Leonard wanted to help these programs obtain the necessary resources for their operations.

Leonard said that he found time to write thanks to strong time management skills and learned that he could become good at writing during graduate work.

“My writing skills increased exponentially during my academic work. The volume and level of writing to get my degrees was staggering,” he said. “ “I do enjoy writing. While others possess talents such as artistic ability or musical aptitude, my creative release is in my ability to write.”