Kara Winkler Leonard
Kara Winkler Leonard
Class Of: 2013
Sport(s) Played: Softball, Women' Basketball

Kara Winkler Leonard has the distinction of being the first North Georgia softball player inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame as she played both softball and women’s basketball for North Georgia but was most known for her play on the softball field under program founder Ricky Sanders. She came to North Georgia in 1996 as a member of the Lady Saints basketball program and joined the softball team in 1998. Leonard was a three-time All-GACC First Team selection from 1998-2000 as well as a three-time National Fast Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region member during that span. She was also a two-time NAIA All-Region honoree (1999-2000) and was twice named an NAIA and NFCA Academic All-American (1999-2000). In 2000, Leonard helped lead her team to the program’s first-ever conference title and was named the GACC Player of the Year as well as the NAIA Region 13 Player of the Year for her role in securing that title. A two-time Most Valuable Player for North Georgia, she was the team’s captain from 1999-2000 and also claimed the 2000 Lady Saint Award. She won five letters between softball and basketball and was named the GACC Female All-Sport Athlete of the Year in 2000. Her runs scored (206) and stolen bases (48) marks still stand as the second-most in a career in program history while her 44 doubles is still tied for fourth all-time. After graduating from North Georgia, Kara became a teacher in the Murray County School System. In 2002, she was named the Murray County High School Teacher of the Year and was also named the Murray County School System Teacher of the Year that same year. 2002 also saw Kara honored as the Impact Person of the Year.