The new head football coach at Porter-Gaud is back where he wants to be.
Brad Bowles, who coached at St. John's and Goose Creek before leaving the Charleston-area for a job in Charlotte, returns to the Lowcountry to take over the football program at Porter-Gaud.
“I am beyond excited to have this opportunity,” Bowles said Wednesday. “Porter-Gaud has great people and a great culture and I am looking forward to being a part of the growth."
Bowles replaces Rick Reetz, who resigned in May to become the offensive coordinator at James Island Charter School. Reetz spent 10 seasons at Porter-Gaud, compiling a 71-47 record with two appearances in the SCISA Class AAA state championship game.
Bowles, 37, spent the last four years as head coach at Providence High School in Charlotte. His team won a conference championship last year and was 23-25 in his four seasons as head coach.
"Like everyone else who has been in Charleston, you always want a reason to come back and getting back to Charleston is something we, as a family, have always been interested in. I was very happy at Providence and this wasn’t something we were going to rush, but this opportunity is too good to pass up.”
Prior to his time at Providence, Bowles spent two seasons as head coach at St. John’s, guiding the Islanders to region titles in 2013 and 2014. He was an assistant coach at Goose Creek for four seasons. While he was there, the Gators compiled a 39-3 record and claimed the 2012 Division II-AAAA state title.
“During my time in the area before, I always felt Porter-Gaud would be a great place to work,” Bowles said. “Going through the interview process and meeting so many of the people who have invested their lives in the school just cemented my thoughts on what the school culture was like. To have this opportunity to impact lives, on and off the field, is something I will take very seriously.”
Bowles inherits a Porter-Gaud program that went 9-3 last season but lost several key players to graduation and transfer. Quarterback Gunnar Nistad, who led the Lowcountry in passing yardage last season, has transferred to James Island for his senior season.
“We’re going to be a program that works very hard and plays very hard every Friday night,” Bowles said. “For me, it’s not about trying to win for one season. It’s not about state championship or bust. It’s about building a program and establishing a culture of working hard and competing at the highest level.”
Bowles’ isn't officially on the job until July 8, but he'll spend the next few weeks establishing his coaching staff and getting to know more of his personnel.
“We are thrilled to have coach Bowles join the Cyclone community,” Porter-Gaud athletic director Larry Salley said. “He has demonstrated the ability to build a successful program and a strong team culture everywhere he has been, and we look forward to him adding a new chapter to Porter-Gaud football’s long history of excellence.”