Posted: 4:04 pm Monday, January 27th, 2014

Football: Kevin Fleury named as John I. Leonard’s new head coach 

By Anthony Chiang

After a disappointing 1-9 season, John I. Leonard was in search of a coach to turn its football program around.

The Lancers found their guy Monday, announcing the hire of Kevin Fleury as their new head coach. Fleury comes from Olympic Heights, where he recorded a 9-11 record in two seasons.

“When this came open, I felt like this was something I couldn’t pass up,” Fleury said. “I feel like there’s talent here to win and be successful.”

One of the reasons for Fleury’s decision to leave Boca Raton’s Olympic Heights stemmed from the long commute the job required from his Jupiter home.

Fleury replaces Wayne Monroe, who resigned as John I. Leonard’s head coach in November after eight years with the program due to health concerns.

“Our committee had two criteria,” John I. Leonard athletic director Scott Siegel said. “We wanted a proven winner and somebody that had a proven record. The second criteria that we were looking for was somebody that would stress the development of our student-athletes in the classroom.”

Fleury brings experience to the position, as he won a state title with Palm Beach Gardens in 2005 and was Cardinal Newman’s defensive coordinator for three years under Steve Walsh.

But leading John I. Leonard back to winning seasons won’t be easy. The Lancers lost star wide receiver Tavares Martin earlier this month after he transferred into Dwyer. John I. Leonard was outscored 311-77 last season.

On the other side of the news, Olympic Heights will now be forced to look for a new head coach.

“You never want to be in that situation,” Fleury said of leaving the Lions. “But I think they had heard some things, so it was a little softer. It wasn’t that much of a shock. But I’m going to miss those guys.”

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