The Leavenworth High School Pioneers boys’ basketball program will have a new varsity head coach next season for the first time in 35 years. Prentes Potts will officially be named as the new coach for the 2018-19 school year at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Leavenworth Board of Education, according to a press release from the school district.
For the last two seasons, Potts coached Schlagle High School to a 35-13 record, with a league record of 17-3. This included two trips to the 5A Kansas Boys Basketball State Tournament, with a runner-up finish in 2017. One of Potts’ proudest accomplishments from this period was seeing seven of his players sign letters of intent to play college basketball.
Potts graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School, and signed a letter of intent to go to Creighton University to play basketball. He ultimately transferred to play at Kansas City Kansas Community College, and later attended Southwest Baptist University and MidAmerica Nazarene University. After earning a business degree from MidAmerica Nazarene, Potts joined the United States Army. He completed two deployment tours while in the Army, one to Kuwait and another to Afghanistan. He then obtained his master’s degree in teaching from the University of Central Missouri and is completing his Building Leadership certification this month.
“My military service had definitely impacted my philosophy of working with young people,” he said. “I regularly find myself implementing military core values both on the court and in the classroom. For example, the most selfless thing a basketball player can do is set a pick or pass up a good shot for a great shot. In the Army, everything we do is built upon the personal sacrifices of doing for others and for the good of your unit. I also learned how to effectively lead different personality types in different ways, and it was during my service that I first discovered my desire to become a teacher.”
Potts will be joining Leavenworth High School in a full-time teaching role, in addition to his coaching duties. He has been a business teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas, school district since December 2014, and also brings coaching experience from both the high school and college levels, having coached at Turner High School, Raytown High School (freshmen boys and varsity assistant), Avila University (assistant coach) and Kansas City Kansas Community College (assistant coach).
“I believe that Leavenworth is one of the best basketball communities in the entire state of Kansas,” he said. “I can recall playing in that gym and it being so hard to get a win against some of the great teams from the late 90s and early 2000s. I understand that there are high expectations. I can’t wait to meet the student athletes and get started, and to begin making positive connections throughout the school and community.”
Potts currently lives in the Piper area with his wife, Codi, and their two children, Kylenna and Caybren.