WATCH: The Leonard Story

By Erin Couch | Posted 10/15/2018


Ken Leonard shifts his weight slightly in a plastic orange chair, arms crossed over his chest.

“She would have hated this.”

The statement hangs in the air of the dim and still locker room. He flashes a slight smile, but his eyes hold most of his amusement.

They have a tendency of doing that when he talks about Liz.

“I outkicked my coverage when I married Liz.”


Nestled in the heart of Illinois, is the capital city of Springfield.

A city large enough to have a decent morning rush, but small in enough for it to seem like everyone knows each other … and knows each other well.

It’s a place that welcomes visitors with friendly Midwest charm and mannerisms. The type of  city that melds together community and history in a way that will surprise you.

And even inspire you.

But perhaps it has nothing to do with the city and more with the people that call Springfield home.

People like the Leonard Family.

A football family by definition, but one that isn’t defined by football.

A family with the most unlikely matriarch to Springfield’s most dynamite football-coaching family. A woman who cared little for the game and the spotlight and more about the people who graced the bleachers, sidelines, and field.

This is a story about football.

But it’s also a story about faith, family and a remarkable woman named Liz Leonard who was the light and joy within a local football community.

This is the Leonard Story.