John Bodey approved as new Garrett girls basketball coach

Former Central Noble boys basketball coach John Bodey discusses a call with an official during a December 17, 2019 game against Westview.

John Bodey is back in the coaching game after a brief hiatus. Bodey was approved as the new Garrett girls basketball coach at Monday’s school board meeting.

“I have spent the last eight years of my life working in Ligonier and the last seven coaching in Albion. I’m excited to get back home and reconnecting with the Garrett community,” Bodey said. “I love teaching basketball fundamentals and I am excited to start working with the girls and improving their fundamentals.”

Bodey, of course, resigned as the Central Noble boys basketball coach at the end of this past season, where the Cougars went 18-7 this season, falling in the Sectional final game to Westview. In total, Bodey was 134-49 in in seven seasons leading the Cougars including a trip to the 2022 state finals.

Bodey told Outside the Huddle in March that he didn’t have imminent plans to return to coaching and it would probably take family involvement to do so. 

“I don’t have any plans right now. I don’t know that I want to coach again but if the right thing came up that involved family where I was around family more, maybe. Probably not going to coach again unless there is some sort of family involvement,” Bodey said in March, noting his grandchildren in the process.

When Bob Lapadot resigned as the Garrett girls coach earlier this month, that opened the door for Bodey to return to Garrett where he spent 7 years as the boys coach and in a town where he still lives. Bodey currently has a 6th grade granddaughter and another in elementary school, to add to the potential family element with the Railroaders.

Bodey’s daughters played at Garrett either under Dan Feagler or Bob Lapadot.

“I said that if I coach again family will be involved. I have granddaughters coming in the program and I look forward to working with them and their friends,” Bodey said.

When Bodey was with Garrett on the boys side, he won a Sectional title in 2009.

The Garrett girls are coming off a 14-12 season in which they won a Sectional title, but have graduated arguably the best player in program history in Bailey Kelham. Kelsey Bergman (5.6 ppg) will be the top returner for the Railroaders who will also bring back Emma LaPato, Brooklyn Jacobs and Sarah DePew, who all saw action last season.

“I don’t think it will be a big jump switching from boys to girls, Bodey told Outside the Huddle. “In the early 90s, I assisted my high school coach Dennis Feagler for two years when he switched from boys to girls. I have also spent many years before coaching high school boys coaching my daughters from Elementary to middle school.”

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