Bowles returns home to Broncos
Brookwood grad to take over boys hoops progam

Just three years into his first head coaching job at South Cobb High School in Austell, Daniel Bowles wasn't necessarily looking for a change of scenery.

But when the opportunity came open for him to coach the same Brookwood boys basketball program he played for just over a decade ago, it was one he just couldn't pass up.

Bowles was introduced to the Broncos' players as their new coach Friday, assuring the job stays in the Brookwood family.

Both Bowles and former coach Craig Witmer, who stepped down last month, played at Brookwood for current GAC coach Eddie Martin - the only coach the program had until Witmer took over following his resignation in 2001.

That sense of history was not lost on Bowles.

"When I heard Craig wasn't coming back, I was surprised," Bowles said. "It was a tough day for me because I just told the kids (at South Cobb) I wasn't coming back, but it had nothing to do with them. ... This was a situation that was just too good to be true."

Though no longer involved in the Brookwood program, Martin said he still cares for it and all those he coached while he was in it.

And he is pleased to see another of his former players as its new leader.

"Yeah, no question (I like to see my former Brookwood player get the job)," Martin said earlier this week. "I grew up as a coach right there and my family grew up there and played there. My wife works there, so it's still a very important place to me.

"The fact that they have confidence in people who played there is satisfying to see. Both he and Craig know what to expect at Brookwood and they do a great job."

In Bowles, the Broncos are getting a coach who has done a solid job after taking over at South Cobb for Tommy McWhorter, who had left to become coach at Berkmar in 2006. McWhorter stepped down as the Patriots coach last month to - like Witmer - spend more time with his family.

Bowles guided South Cobb to a 43-36 in his three seasons there, and was encouraged by the direction of an Eagles team that will return 10 players from a squad that went 14-12 this past season.

He inherits an equally up-and-coming situation at Brookwood.

Though freshman leading scorer Chris Bolden recently transferred to Norcross, the Broncos are set to return several other players from a team that improved from 10 wins to 19 this past season, including finishing as the Region 8-AAAAA tournament runner-up and making the Class AAAAA state tournament.

"I got a chance to meet some of the kids (at Brookwood)," Bowles said. "With who's returning and knowing the situation over there, it's a good situation."

Bowles also knows about how competitive the situation will be in Region 8-AAAAA. However, he added his three seasons in Region 5-AAAAA, guiding South Cobb against Cobb County powerhouses like McEachern and Marietta was also good preparation for the region wars his teams face year in and year out.

"It's always going to be very competitive (in Region 8)," Bowles said. "There are so many natural rivalries. It's going to be a lot of fun."

Sports Editor Will Hammock contributed to this story.

SideBar: The Bowles

Name: Daniel Bowles

New position: Head boys basketball coach at Brookwood

Former position: Head boys basketball coach at South Cobb

Age: 29

Career record: 43-36 in three seasons

Education: Graduated from Brookwood High School in 1998; graduated from LaGrange College in Jackson, Tenn., in 2002

Background: Bowles returns home to Brookwood, where he played for the Broncos under then-coach Eddie Martin before heading off to LaGrange College. His coaching career began as an assistant in the nationally ranked NAIA program at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta and continued with a 1-year stint as an assistant at Chattahoochee High School. He then got his first head coaching job at South Cobb, succeeding the now-retired Tommy McWhorter, who had moved over to Berkmar. He comes to Brookwood after having guided the Eagles to a winning record in two of his three seasons at the Austell school.

Family: Wife Amy