MARYVILLE, Mo. — Rodney Bade is not a new face to the Spoofhound track and field team, but he will be entering a new role this coming season.
Bade has lead the junior high program in the past and has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the high school squad, specializing in the long-distance runners.
When Nathan Powell announced that he was leaving Maryville to become the head football coach and head track and field coach at Princeton, Bade was an obvious candidate to be elevated to the head coaching position. Although he talked it over with the other track coaches and decided to accept the job, it was important to Bade that they avoided a formal announcement until after the season ended.
“I didn’t want to take anything away from last year’s season even though I’d been approved and everything,” Bade said.
The continuity of being able to keep much of the same staff is something Bade thinks will help the transition. One of those coaches is Jamie James, who Bade wanted to make sure would stick with the program through the coaching shuffle.
“I kind of see myself and Coach James as not co-head coaches by any means, but we are definitely going to work closely with one another,” Bade said. “He fully trusts my organization and planning, and I fully trust him to be able to run the sprint program.”
The rest of the new Spoofhound staff includes Kyle Hoyt, who returns to work with the throwers, and Heather Stoecklein and Ty Cox, who are new to the staff this season.
Bade, who also has been the Spoofhound head cross-country coach for the past five years, will continue to work with his long-distance runners who have been a strength of the Spoofhounds. Under Bade, the boys 4x800-meter relay team has medaled at state the past three years and two seasons ago, Caleb Feuerbacher won the 3,200-meter state championship.
“I don’t think it is going to be much different for the distance kids,” Bade said. “Coach Powell had full trust and he gave me a lot of freedom.”
Bade, a science teacher at Maryville Middle School, will hand over responsibility for coaching the pole vaulters to Cox, which will allow Bade to focus on his head coaching duties.
“He has some pole vault experience and is really excited to coach pole vault,” Bade said. “I enjoyed it the last couple years, but he is more passionate about it than I am.”
While the track and field season will wait for the spring, Bade and his runners will begin the 2019-2020 school year in the fall with the cross-country season. The Spoofhounds’ season opening meet is Sept. 3 at Donaldson-Westside Park.