The McKinney High School Lions have a new leader of the pride.

McKinney ISD officials announced Nate Leonard was hired as the new head football coach of McKinney High School during a Jan. 22 board meeting. Leonard is a graduate of MHS and former offensive line standout, according to a district news release.

“We are thrilled that coach Leonard has agreed to lead the McKinney High Lions,” MISD Director of Athletics Jennifer Frazier said in the release. “As an alumnus, coach Leonard understands the rich history of McKinney High School and is passionate about leading our student athletes. He is a fierce competitor and consistently showcases the ability to build a culture that breeds excellence and strong relationships. We are excited to welcome him home.”

Career history

Leonard spent his collegiate career playing center at The University of Texas at San Antonio. There he was named to the Capital One Academic All-American Team and was named Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013. He began his coaching career at Memorial High School in San Antonio as an offensive line coach, assistant baseball coach and head powerlifting coach, the release states.

He joined Canyon High School in New Braunfels in 2021 where he was chosen as head coach in 2023.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come home and serve the wonderful community that raised me,” Leonard said in the release. “I know what an honor it is to wear the blue and gold because I’ve done it myself. Our mission will be to do things better than they’ve ever been done before at McKinney High School. McKinney High School will be the most exciting place to be a high school athlete, and we will equip our student-athletes with the tools to succeed now and for the rest of their lives.”