FREDERICK, Md. - Chris Leonard will be the first head coach of Hood College's esports program, Director of Athletics Dr. Susan Kolb announced.
"I feel confident that Chris is the right person to pioneer our esports program at Hood College," Kolb said. "With a wealth of knowledge in gaming, he also brings passion and enthusiasm that will draw in new students and a new audience as we look forward to kicking off this new program in the fall."
Hood officially announced esports as a club sport in January of 2019. The team will begin competition in fall 2019.
"I am honored and humbled to be the first head coach of the esports program. I am grateful to Dr. Kolb and the athletics department for selecting me for this position," Leonard said. "Hood College has unlimited potential and I am pleased to be a part of it. I am looking forward to meeting the student-athletes and creating the Blazer esports culture of winning."
Leonard is a lifelong gamer with a passion for coaching esports. He has created and managed player's groups for casual gameplay and competitive tournaments that involve games like Overwatch, Fortnite, NBA 2K and Madden.
Leonard is currently a software development manager and overall technical lead for General Dynamics Corp. Prior to his current role, Leonard was the instructional delivery and quality assurance manager for the Defense Cyber Investigation Training Academy in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.
He spent 13 years in local law enforcement, last serving as assistant chief of police.
Leonard served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army and helped develop the Last Tactical Mile program in Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2011-2012. He is a U.S. Army disabled veteran, a law enforcement Purple Heart recipient and a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.