Rodeo Hall of Fame bullfighter Leon Coffee has been a barrel man at RODEOHOUSTON for 31 years. The beloved rodeo clown wants the world to know he is not done yet. “I ain’t going anywhere,” Coffee said. 

“Everybody thought I was quitting…I’m just changing positions,” Coffee stated. “I’m retiring from bullfighting, but I’m not retiring from clowning.” 

Being out of the barrel will allow Coffee to impact more lives than he has already. Coffee will be able to interact more with the crowd, creating more entertainment for all to enjoy.  

“I like it because now I can just go have fun and play with the kids,” Coffee said. “I will have more contact with the fans now than I did when I was in the barrel.” 

With the barrel man chapter ending, Coffee has a new responsibility: finding someone to fill his shoes…or barrel…and take over his position. “I have never had an opportunity in my life, in any facet of my life where I got to choose my successor,” Coffee said.  “RODEOHOUSTON is giving me that opportunity to go up and say, ‘Who do you want to see after you, who do you want to succeed you?’ Wow.” 

Coffee’s last moments in the barrel this week have been a humbling experience. “I got a standing ovation out there,” Coffee said, “It was the most humbling thing that ever happened to me. There were 70,000 people who stood up and clapped for me. That tells me the good Lord let me do what he wanted me to do.” 

Coffee will continue clowning and putting smiles on peoples’ faces wherever he goes for years to come, including the colossal crowds at RODEOHOUSTON. 

Coffee’s successor will be announced in the Spring of 2024. 

About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo  

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $600 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2024 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 17. The 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 22 – 24. For more information, visit and follow @RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.