After playing and serving as an assistant coach at Columbus North, Mike Bodart has had the desire to become head baseball coach of the Bull Dogs.
Monday morning, that dream became a reality when Bodart was selected as North’s new leader.
“I’m excited,” Bodart said. “It’s obviously something that I’ve wanted for a long time. I just was waiting for my time. Everything happens for a reason, and it happened this year.”
Bodart played basketball and baseball for Bill Stearman at North and was on the Bull Dogs’ regional championship basketball team as a senior in 1993. After Stearman gave up his baseball duties following the 1992 season, Bodart was the lone senior for coach Joe Preda’s baseball team in 1993.
After high school, Bodart played baseball at Indiana University-Southeast. He then returned to Columbus as an assistant baseball coach under Val Nolan from 1998-2000 and also coached middle school basketball.
“I’ve had my eye on this position for 25 years,” Bodart said in a news release. “I coached under Val Nolan and he really instilled in me a goal to lead this program some day. I have a great deal of respect for the game of baseball and I know how important it is for this program to represent Columbus North and the community of Columbus with dignity. We’ll play the game hard and be respectful of our opponents and the game of baseball itself.”
Columbus North first base coach Mike Bodart, right, assists Blake Stevens during a baseball game in 2021. Bodart has been named the Bull Dogs’ head coach.
Bodart was an assistant baseball coach at Columbus East in 2001 and 2002 before buying Hoosier Sporting Goods in 2003. He returned to North as an assistant under Ben McDaniel from 2014-21.
Bodart also has coached in the Columbus Revolution travel basketball program and has coached the Diesel Baseball travel team the past three years. His son Michael, 11, is on that Diesel team.
“He has a lot of fun playing baseball,” Mike said. “I try to instill in him to have fun and work hard. Those lessons carry on after you’re done with baseball.”
Bodart is the first Columbus or Columbus North alumni to hold the head baseball coaching position since Stearman retired.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind recently,” Bodart said. “I just want to uphold the high standards of the program and do the best I can.”
Among the first items on Bodart’s agenda will be to put together a coaching staff and hold a meeting with current players and anyone else interested in trying out for the team nex spring. That callout meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the LGI room of North High School.
Bodart also plans to meet with parents to introduce himself and relay expectations for the program. He replaces Pat Antone, who led the Bull Dogs to an 18-7-1 record this spring in his only season at North.
“There’s a lot of returning talent, and there’s a huge incoming freshman class,” Bodart said. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t return to the success of a handful of years ago.”