The 2019 Leavenworth Pioneers baseball team will have a familiar face as head coach. On Monday, Leavenworth athletic director James Vanek announced that assistant coach Justin Bode will take over as head coach with Joe Allison’s departure.

Bode has spent the last 12 years as Allison’s assistant, but it is now his turn to lead.

For Bode, this has been a goal of his for some time.

“It’s a career goal of mine to be a head coach,” Bode said. “Now I’ve achieved that and it’s time to take it and run with it.”

The transition for Bode will see the coach and science teacher have more responsibility, but he is excited about it.

“I am really excited to work with these young men,” Bode said. “A lot of these kids were ones I’ve worked with since they were 10 or 11 through our youth program and now they’re juniors and seniors. So obviously, I was really excited about it.”

Bode doesn’t plan on changing much of the foundation already built for the team. 

He said that they will stick with what they’ve done in the past, but with a few wrinkles. 

Bode said he is going to incorporate a more aggressive style of play, but the first-year head coach doesn’t plan to “reinvent the wheel” from what was done under Allison

Bode will also take over control of the youth program that he has helped Allison with. Allison will still be involved in the 2019 Junior Pioneers season to help transition Bode to take over.

With summer coming to an end and school beginning, Bode wants to push his athletes to play other sports during the fall and winter seasons to have more well-rounded athletes. 

If an athlete just wants to focus on baseball, he cannot make it mandatory to condition, but he still expects it so the athlete is ready for the spring when the long-time assistant coaches his first team.