Hart with the Colts in September 2010
|Position:||Running backs coach|
|Born:||April 9, 1986|
Syracuse, New York
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight:||206 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Onondaga Central|
(Nedrow, New York)
|NFL Draft:||2008 / Round: 6 / Pick: 202|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Leon Michael Hart (born April 9, 1986) is an American football coach and former player. He currently serves as the running backs coach at Indiana University. Hart played college football as a running back at the University of Michigan from 2004 to 2007 and holds the Michigan Wolverines career rushing record with 5,040 yards. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL) in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Hart played three seasons for the Colts, mostly in a back-up role, before the team released him in the spring of 2011. He has previously worked as an assistant football coach at Syracuse University, Western Michigan University, and Eastern Michigan University.
Hart attended Onondaga Central High School just outside Syracuse, New York where he set the national career record for rushing touchdowns (204), career points (for a non-quarterback) with 1,246, and finished second in career rushing yards (11,045). Onondaga Central went 46-1 (.979), losing only a single game to Mohawk Central School, and won three state championships (against Dobbs Ferry, Briarcliff and Cambridge) during Hart's career.
In the 2004 season, Hart set a Michigan record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman with 1,455. He rushed for nine touchdowns and had 26 receptions for 237 yards and a touchdown catch. For the 2005 season as a sophomore, Hart missed significant time due to a hamstring injury. He started eight of Michigan's 12 games and played sparingly in three of those. He finished the season with 662 yards and four touchdowns rushing and added 16 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown catch.
During the 2006 season, Hart rushed for 1,562 yards - the fifth-best season total in Michigan history - and 14 touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 125 yards. For his efforts, Hart was recognized as his team's co-MVP with linebacker David Harris. He was also selected by both coaches and media to the All-Big Ten Conference First Team, named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, and placed fifth in Heisman Trophy balloting.
As a senior in the 2007 season, Hart was elected team captain along with offensive tackle Jake Long and linebacker Shawn Crable. He entered the eighth week of the season as college football's leader in rushing yards, but after an ankle injury sidelined him for two games, he dropped in the rankings. Hart finished the season with 1,361 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his final game at Michigan Stadium, Hart was held to 44 yards on 18 carries in a 14-3 loss to Ohio State, completing an 0-4 career record for Hart against the Buckeyes.
In his Michigan career, Hart rushed 1,015 times for 5,040 yards; both marks are school records. His 41 career rushing touchdowns are third-best in Michigan annals. Hart's 28 career games with at least 100 yards rushing and 5 games with at least 200 yards rushing are each the most in Michigan history. Hart lost three fumbles in his college career, two of which came in his last game as a Wolverine in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. In that game, Hart also passed the 5,000 yard rushing mark for his career, becoming only the fourth player in Big Ten history to do so.
Third on the Colts depth chart behind Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes, Hart saw little action during the 2008 season, rushing for nine yards on two carries. During the second quarter of the Colts victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6, Hart sustained a knee injury on an 18-yard reception from Peyton Manning. On October 15, Hart was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
Hart missed the 2009 pre-season opener with an ankle injury. On September 5, Hart was cut by the Colts then was signed to the Colts practice squad on September 6. On October 4, Hart was reassigned to the Colts active roster, replacing Chad Simpson. On November 24, Hart was waived by the Colts. He was re-signed to the practice squad on November 25. Hart was promoted to the active roster on December 2. On December 6, Hart got his first touches of the 2009 season. He had 11 rushing yards and two receptions for 27 yards. He had 28 rushing yards on December 13. On January 3, 2010 in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills, Hart scored the first touchdown of his NFL career on a one-yard run on a hand-off from Peyton Manning. On February 7, 2010, Hart had two carries in Super Bowl XLIV.
During a 2010 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Hart scored his second career touchdown. It was the only touchdown of the game, as the Colts won 19-9. On November 1, 2010, in a Monday night game against the Houston Texans, Hart rushed for an NFL career-best 84 yards on 12 carries. Hart was released by the Colts on July 26, 2011.
In August 2011, Hart had accepted a job at Eastern Michigan University as the offensive quality control coach for the Eastern Michigan Eagles football team. He served in that capacity for the 2011 season and then for two seasons, 2012 and 2013, as the team's running backs coach. On February 4, 2014, Hart was announced as the running backs coach at Western Michigan University. On January 4, 2016, he was announced as the new running backs coach at Syracuse University. It was announced on March 2, 2017 that Hart was leaving Syracuse to assume the vacant running backs coach position at Indiana University under his former coach Mike DeBord.