More About Leo

Coach Sayles’ coaching career began back in 1987. His 30 year career spans athletics, education, and ministry.   In January of 2019, Coach Sayles accepted a new position as the Head Women’s Volleyball Coach/ Associate Athletic Director for Sport Ministry at Grove City College, an NCAA Div. III institution in Grove City, PA.

Gardner-Webb University, an NCAA Div. 1 institution Boiling Springs, NC

  • Head Women’s Volleyball Coach for 8 seasons
  • GWU Volleyball Wins leader in NCAA Div. I completion.
  • Teams set records for most overall wins, most conference wins, highest conference finish.  Teams have reset virtually all GWU Div. 1 team records during his tenure.
  • Teams have won 7 consecutive AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Academic Team Awards.
  • Teams have won 4 consecutive Big South Conference Sportsmanship Awards.
Coach Leo Sayles coaching his team during a match.

Bryan College, NAIA institution in Dayton, TN.

  • 2009 NCCAA (National Christian College Athletics Association) Div. 1 Final Four
  • 2x NCCAA National Championships participants.
  • 2006 Coach of year,
  • 2009 Conference Co-Champions
  • 2007 NAIA Region XII Finalists
  • 2 Champions of Character
  • 3x AVCA Academic Team

Experience in education and ministry spans a 21 yrs. career as a high school coach/college coach, educator, and youth minister.

  • 1999-2001; Girls Volleyball Coach, Vernon/Rockville High School, Vernon, CT
  • 2000 Conference Champions, Connecticut State Quarterfinals, Coach of the Year
  • 1993-1998; Educator/Coach of several sports, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, CT.
  • 1989-93:  Educator/Coach –Redlands, CA
  • 1992 Girls Volleyball League Champions, Coach of the Year Award
  • 1993 Girls Basketball League Champions, Coach of the Year Award
  • 1993 CIF Semifinals, Boys Basketball (Assistant Coach)
Coach Leo Sayles in green shirt observing team during a match.
Coach Leo Sayles feeding volleyballs to team before a match.

15 seasons experience as a Track Coach (assistant, head, events coach)  in California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina (1987-2015)– Numerous post-season awards and State championship appearances for his athletes in hurdles, jumps and relays.   Choral Director with 9 years experience in public and private school settings. Developed, initiated, and rejuvenated choral programs at Calvary Chapel High School (Redlands, CA) and East Hartford High School (CT).  Inaugurated East Hartford’s much acclaimed Jazzapella choir, an award-winning ensemble entering its 25 season.

FCA    – Fellowship of Christian Athletes

  • Served on regional board, Illinois; spring event speaker coordinator
  • Served on State board, CT, UCONN FCA huddle speaker
  • Huddle leader – Riverdale HS, IL and Bryan College
  • Served as keynote speaker for huddles and events in New England, Illinois, Tennessee, and North Carolina
Coach Leo Sayles coaching team during a match.
Coach Leo Sayles observing team from the bench team during a match.

Associate Pastor

Served over 14 years as an Associate pastor in worship and/or youth, with stints as interim pastor/pulpit supply.   Served an additional 10 years as a College Bible Study/Sunday School teacher

  • Experienced in Urban, suburban, and rural church settings.
  • Former Faculty member for Youth Leadership Institute/Quest ministry for the New England Baptist
  • New England Baptist Youth Advisory committee and Worship committee from 1996-2001

Speaker

  • Youth conference primary speaker/leader
  • Campus Crusade NE college ministry at local chapters and regional conference
  • Local church guest preacher, CA, CT, MA, Ill, TN, NC
  • Served as a regional seminar leader and trainer in youth ministry, athletics and coaching, and music ministry in New England for the Baptist Convention of New England, the southeast and Texas for ASCI.
Coach Leo Sayles coaching a player.
Coach Leo Sayles in maroon shirt observing his team during a match.

Writer

  • Considered one of the “finest contributors” for FCA’s national Impact Devotion emailed daily to over 25,000 subscribers from 2007-2013 (quote from Jill Lee, former editor for Impact Devotions)
  • Training article has appeared in Youth Magazine, and devotions appear in FCA’s The Competitor’s Bible

Has led successful sports camps for over 20 years in volleyball, basketball, and/or track.   Available as a speaker for school chapels, spiritual life conferences, school/youth retreats, Christian leadership training, athletic department leadership training, teacher in-service, Sunday services.

Coach Leo Sayles in strategy session with staff.