Duke Leonardo enters his first season as head basketball coach of the Freedom Patriots. Leonardo brings many years of successful experience and a championship culture to the hardwood of Freedom High School.
Most recently, as a varsity assistant and the head JV coach at state powerhouse Osceola High, Leonardo made a name for himself developing key players that would go on to win yet another FHSAA State Championship for the Kowboys in 2017. During his tenure with Osceola, the Kowboys made two appearances in the FHSAA Final Four (2015, 2017), including a 2015 State Runner-Up finish. Overall, Osceola was 95-25 while Leonardo was with the program. In that time frame Osceola won four consecutive district championships.
During his tenure as an assistant at Osceola, Coach Leo developed talented players that would go on to play at the next level. Six Kowboys are now playing at the collegiate level due to his leadership and skills in developing talent. These players include Cortez Edwards who is now playing at Southern Mississippi.
In three years as the Head JV Coach, he led the Kowboys to a 48-8 record, as well as three JV OBC championships. In his first year on the court for the Kowboys, he led the freshman team to a 10-1 record where they finished as the OBC freshman champions.
The leader of Freedom basketball also knows that mentoring young men off the court is a top priority. Academics, in combination with players with high moral integrity will be benchmarks of the Patriot basketball program. As a man who knows that faith and family last far beyond the years of basketball, Coach Leo looks to instill hard work, respect, discipline, and pride into his Freedom basketball family.
Prior to joining the staff at Osceola, the Michigan native got his start as the head coach at Godwin Heights Middle School and High School assistant, in Godwin Heights MI. Along with coaching basketball, the energetic Leonardo also was an assistant baseball coach for the state ranked Grandville High School(MI) from 2007-2010.
A 2010 graduate of Grand Valley State University (MI), Leonardo, who is married to his wife Emily and has two year old daughter Sloan, currently teaches 4th Grade at Neptune Elementary School in Osceola County, FL. Leonardo is excited about the opportunity to develop and mentor young student-athletes to become successful both on and off the court once they leave the walls of Freedom High School.