Football program adds two coaches, staffers

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State head football coach Ron Prince announced the addition of Frank Leonard as assistant coach and the promotion of Ricky Rahne from graduate assistant to assistant coach Monday.

Leonard most recently served as a special assignment scout in the New England Patriots organization and will take over as K-State’s tight ends coach in place of James Jones, whose contract was not renewed, Prince said.

Rahne, K-State’s offensive graduate assistant during the 2006 season, has been promoted to running backs coaching, according to Prince. He served the 2005 season as the running backs coach at Cornell prior to joining Prince’s staff last spring.

“I am very pleased to announce the hiring of Frank Leonard and the promotion of Ricky Rahne,” Prince said. “Both men are tenacious, go-getters and I believe provide our football organization with an exciting blend of experience and youth. But above all, these coaches are excellent teachers and men of integrity and I expect both of them to be real assets to our program.”

A versatile coach with a keen eye for evaluating talent, Leonard has worked at the highest levels of the game during his 26-year career and joins the K-State staff after a three-year stint with the New England Patriots that included a World Championship in Super Bowl XXXIX.

As a special assignment scout with the Pats from 2004-06, Leonard worked closely with the organization’s personnel evaluation of both college and professional players and contributed to many of the team’s player personnel decisions.

Prior to his tenure in New England, Leonard worked 10 seasons on the coaching staff at Richmond, serving as the Spiders’ offensive line (1994, 1997-2003) and running backs coach (1995-96) as well as the program’s recruiting coordinator (2003).

At Richmond, Leonard mentored a number of players who earned All-America honors, including offensive linemen Eric King (1998), who went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Eric Beatty (2000).

The Spiders also produced unprecedented success as a team during Leonard’s tenure. In just his second season at Richmond, Leonard helped the Spiders to a 7-3-1 record and a No. 20 final ranking. The seven wins were the 10th most in school history and signaled that the program was on the rise.

Three years later, Leonard helped guide Richmond’s 1998 squad to a 9-3 mark, the program’s first Atlantic 10 title and a berth in the NCAA I-AA playoffs and a No. 5 final national ranking.

A second A-10 championship followed in 2000 as the Spiders rolled to a 10-3 record to rack up the most wins in school history. Led by Leonard’s offensive line, Richmond rushed for a school-record 3,369 yards, reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA I-AA playoffs and ended the year with a No. 6 national ranking.

Before arriving at Richmond, Leonard spent four seasons as the outside linebackers coach at the University of Connecticut (1990-93), where he tutored a pair of All-Yankee Conference performers in Bruce Bourgoin and Paul Duckworth.

He also served six seasons as a defensive line coach and then offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Western Connecticut (1982-84, 1987-89) and two seasons as the defensive line coach at Central Connecticut State (1985-86).

A native of Wethersfield, Conn., Leonard is a graduate of Central Connecticut State, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and played football for three seasons.

A record-setting quarterback while at Cornell University, Rahne worked closely with all aspects of the Kansas State offense during 2006 as a graduate assistant.

Prior to joining Prince’s staff at K-State, Rahne spent the 2005 season as the running backs coach at Cornell, where he mentored first team All-Ivy League selection Luke Siwula. During 2005, Siwula had six 100-yard rushing games. He ended the year with 1,086 yards on the ground for the 10th-best single-season rushing total in Cornell history.

Rahne spent the 2004 campaign as an assistant defensive line coach at Holy Cross. In his only season with the Crusaders, Rahne worked extensively with the program’s defensive ends. He also was responsible for all video breakdowns of opponents’ defense and special teams and assisted the defensive coordinator in developing game plans while coordinating scout teams.

A 2002 Cornell graduate with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations, Rahne worked as an intern in the National Football League office during the summer before his senior year. Prior to his stint at Holy Cross, Rahne worked at the Cintas Corporation as a part of the company’s management trainee program.

On the field, Rahne finished his career as the Big Red’s all-time leader in nearly every passing category and earned the team’s MVP honors three times.

A three-year starter, he remains the program’s career leader in completions (678), yards (7,710), touchdown passes (54) and 200-yard passing games (25). He took over the top spot for total offense with 7,994 yards (7,710 passing, 284 rushing) during his senior season and finished his career ranked No. 3 in the Ivy League in career passing yards with his 7,710 yards.

In addition to the coaching staff additions, Prince announced the hiring of Darren Honeycutt as assistant strength and conditioning coach for football, John Colbert as director of high school/junior college relations for football and Inge Jorgensen as research assistant. Prince also announced that Abby Boustead has resigned her position as director of football administration to pursue graduate degree studies at the University of Florida.

Honeycutt brings over 17 years of strength and conditioning experience with him to Kansas State, and was on staff at Appalachian State while Prince was a player for the Mountaineers. A long-time collogue of current strength and conditioning coach Mike Kent, Honeycutt worked alongside Kent during stops at Pittsburgh (2004-06), Louisville (2000-03) and Appalachian State (1991-94).

A high school teammate of Prince and a graduate of nearby Junction City High School, Colbert has had a long association with Prince and played with him at both Dodge City Community College and Appalachian State. He also served as a graduate assistantship at Alabama A&M during Prince’s tenure as the program’s offensive line and tight ends coach in 1993 before beginning an 11-year career as a high school coach.

Most recently, Colbert managed the 26-sport athletics department at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Fla., as the school’s athletics director.