Chris Chester hailed Wakefield's character and resilience after they made it back-to-back wins over Easter and inflicted more damage on Leeds' hopes of defending their Super League title.
The Wildcats beat Huddersfield on Friday in Chester's first official game in charge and they backed that up with another whole-hearted performance to edge to a 20-16 victory courtesy of Craig Hall's late try.
History was against Wakefield after 10 defeats in a row at the home of the Rhinos but they dug deep to earn their first Headingley win since 2007.
"I'm really proud," said Wildcats head coach Chester.
"We had to tough it out in the second half and I thought we were worthy winners.
"We were unlucky to go in at half-time leading 8-6, but we toughed it out and got a fantastic win.
"I think it's the first time this club has won two games over Easter so I'm really proud of everybody from one to 17.
"We showed a lot of character and resilience in the second half. We found a way to win the game with a special play from Craig Hall to go the full length."
Leeds appeared to be heading towards only their third victory of the season after Mitch Achurch's try while Scott Moore was in the sin bin.
But a second penalty from the boot of Liam Finn got Wakefield back level before Hall went 80 metres to score in front of jubilant Wildcats supporters.
Hall's try was the game's decisive moment but Chester felt last-ditch efforts in defence proved the difference.
"Tom Johnstone saved two tries with one tackle on Zak Hardaker and another on Jamie Jones-Buchanan," added Chester. "He was the match-winner for us today."
The result meant a sixth defeat in eight games for last year's treble winners Leeds, who had twice levelled through Joel Moon and Tom Briscoe after tries from Matty Ashurst and Jacob Miller.
The Rhinos are now six points adrift of the top four and head coach Brian McDermott has challenged his players to come through this tough period.
"There are some obvious things that are not there for us," he said.
"I know what's wrong and we know what's wrong, but going out there and executing that is a different matter. That's what makes sport really interesting.
"It's not slide rules and science. If we just pressed a few buttons and all of a sudden people started playing well and with confidence, we'd all be coaches.
"We've got to be as good at this end of the table as we are at the other end of the table.
"We've got some hard work to do and things we need to fix up. I'm confident the group will do that."