THSADA Spotlight: Leal Anderson
Leal Anderson started his career at National Instruments in Austin, Texas, but soon realized that it was not what he aspired for in a career. “My true passion was for teaching, coaching, and helping kids. This is what I always really wanted to do,” Anderson said, “I got an opportunity to do this at Anderson High School here in Austin, Texas and I loved every minute of it.”
During the 2012–13 season, he coached the Anderson’s Men’s Varsity Basketball Team to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) which set the school record for number of wins as a 5-A Program. Anderson was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5-A Outstanding Coach for the 2012-13 season. “Coaching really prepared me for my role as an Athletic Director,” Anderson said, “I have gained an extensive knowledge base of not just the sports I coached, but the UIL rules as well. Most importantly, coaching allowed me to establish and build relationships with other coaches, kids, and leaders who will be lifelong friends.”
In the Spring of 2014, Leal Anderson was named the Athletic Director for Austin I.S.D. Anderson oversees 12 (13 as of next year) high schools and 19 middle schools in Austin ISD. Anderson oversees over 500 coaches and 14,000 student athletes in Austin ISD.
In 2015, Anderson was named the THSADA Regional Athletic Administrator of the Year. In 2017, Anderson helped the Austin Independent School District promote and pass an over $1 Billion bond to improve Campus and Central Athletic Facilities. In 2019, Anderson helped develop a District-Wide Facility Master Plan to improve all Athletic facilities in the Austin Independent School District. During Anderson’s tenure as Athletic Director, two schools have set the school record for number of wins in football. In various other sports, four schools in Austin I.S.D. have won State Championships.
“I enjoy watching the kids compete in their various sports. To see the joy on their faces after a victory is a testament to the hard work and commitment they have put forth as a student-athlete,” Anderson said, “I wish I could provide them with a more level playing field throughout our city and state. The lack of resources and our facilities make it challenging. However, we will not make excuses. We will continue to do the best we can with what we have and strive to improve the athletic experience for all kids and coaches in our district.”
Leal serves on the Athletic Committee for the THSADA, and is also an active member of THSCA, TGCA, NIAAA, TABC and AFCA.