Leo Fanning
Leo Fanning
Title: Asst. Head Coach for Defense/Defensive Backs

(Retired in June 2018)

After nine years on the coaching staff at Norwich University, Leo Fanning is in his fourth year as assistant head coach for defense and defensive backs coach at Bentley University.

Fanning came to Bentley in 2014 with over 40 years of collegiate coaching experience under his belt, including 16 on the staff of the legendary Joe Restic at Harvard University from 1978-93 and nine working under the late Dan Allen. His tenure at Norwich University included two seasons as the offensive coordinator and the last seven as Associate Head Football Coach.

Fanning began his coaching career at his alma mater, Bridgewater State College, in 1971. Following two seasons with the Bears, he spent one year at Massachusetts and five seasons at Tufts University. Before moving to Vermont in 2005, Fanning spent eight seasons (1996-2003) as the Assistant Head Football Coach at the College of Holy Cross, the last five as defensive coordinator.

Fanning has also served on the football coaching staffs at American International College and Boston University.

Fanning was a defensive back at Bridgewater State from 1966-69 and was a team co-captain as a senior. He was a co-recipient of the BSC Sports Achievement Award and was inducted into the BSC Hall of Fame in 1994. A year later, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston recognized him as the Assistant Coach of the Year.

In January 2016, Fanning was again honored by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, this time with the John Baronian Award for Lifetime Contributions to Football.

Fanning, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history, earned his master’s degree in physical education from UMass in September 1975.

Fanning and his wife Patricia reside in Marlboro. They have two adult children, Kristen, an educator in New York City, and Matthew, an assistant football coach at Holy Cross.