Leonard Haynes is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the football program. He has posted an 18-26 record in his first four years.
Haynes led NU to a much-improved season in 2017, guiding Northwood to a 7-4 overall record. That was a four-win improvement from the previous season, which allowed Northwood to earn the "Breakthough Team of the Year" in Division II according to Herosports.
Haynes served as the interim head coach for the 2015 season and will remain at the helm of the team going forward. He took over for the late Pat Riepma in the summer of 2015. Haynes led Northwood to five wins and a tie for fifth place overall in the 15-team Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Leonard Haynes did a tremendous job under very difficult circumstances this season,” said Dave Marsh, Northwood Athletic Director. “We are very excited about the future of our program under his leadership. He is a true Timberwolf and the ideal person to lead our football program.”
Haynes has been a mainstay on the Northwood football staff for two decades, as the 2017 season is his 23rd at Northwood. Haynes has served multiple roles on the staff over the years. Prior to his time as the interim head coach, Haynes has been the Assistant Head Coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. Haynes has been a part of coaching staffs that won three GLIAC Championships and reached the NCAA Playoffs four times.
Three former Northwood defensive linemen that were coached by Haynes have earned chances to play in the NFL. Dedrick Roper spent a pair of seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chris Wilson became a key player for the Washington Redskins, while Kyle Clement signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A four-year letterman who graduated from Northwood in 1994, Haynes started every year of his career at defensive tackle. During his career, he posted 255 tackles with 28 tackles for losses. He registered 97 tackles and three sacks his senior year and was selected Second Team All-MIFC.
"First and foremost, I would thank to thank god for all of these blessings," said Haynes “I would also like to thank President (Keith) Pretty and Dave Marsh for the opportunity to lead the Northwood football program. This team has been near and dear to my heart for many years and I am elated to lead it to another chapter.”
The Detroit native earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Management from Northwood in 1994. Haynes also earned his MBA in International Business from Salem International in 2010. He is also active on campus as a director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Haynes and his wife, Ayana, are parents of four children - Chinara, Jonathan, Adia and Donovan. The family resides in Midland.
"Coach Haynes is a man of integrity, loyalty, and work ethic," said Marsh. "He has a great connection with the student-athletes and is well-respected at Northwood. I am very confident in his ability to lead our team.”