Leon Ford Bio

Leon Ford
Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Updated May 2013

Leon Ford ushered in the “modern” era of Chattanooga basketball. He is 11th head coach in school history.

Ford took over for Hall of Famer Tommy Bartlett who led the uber-successful tennis programs. While currently ranking fifth all-time in wins, he was the winningest coach on the school ledger when he departed in 1972.

He managed a 129-123 slate during his tenure. His 1971 squad’s 18-5 record was the best to date in team annals. His teams won 16 or more games four times in his 10 years. Prior to his coaching tenure, the Mocs managed 16 wins just twice in 41 campaigns.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Ford played two seasons of basketball at Louisville on the Cardinals’ 1951 NCAA and 1952 NIT Tournament teams. He was a high school coach in Alabama (Lee H.S. - Montgomery) before taking the reins of the Chattanooga program.

NOTABLE PLAYERS (Alphabetical Order)
Greg Andrews: The first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship to the University in 1967.

Larry Barnett: NCAA Little All-American who at one time held several school records including points in a season with 580 in 1965. He still holds the mark for rebounds in a game with 29 in 1965 against Middle Tennessee.

David Bryan: Chattanooga native who earned NCAA Little All-American status during his career. Bryan is the all-time leading rebounder for the Mocs with 1,059, 10.8 per game. He averaged a double-double for his career with a 16.8 scoring average tallying 1,648 points in his illustrious career.

Harold Carden: Harold was the team MVP in 1967 and was NCAA Little All-American Honorable Mention with Bryan in 1968.

Dick Sander: Topped 1,000 points for his career with the Mocs. Sander is the first UTC student-athlete to score 40 points in a game (1968 vs. Quantico Marines). He shot 91.4 percent (127-139) from the free throw line in 1968 making 42 free throws in a row.

Leon and his wife, the former Jewell Dean Baker, had two children, Angela and Randy.

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