Dani Klemes, web editor-in-chief
After 11 years of coaching at Beverly, swim and water polo coach Rob Bowie resigned from his position on Wednesday, Jan. 8 to pursue a coaching job at Brentwood School.
Bowie began his coaching career at Beverly in 2003 as the head boys water polo coach and the assistant swim coach, later becoming the head girls water polo coach in 2004 and the head swim coach in 2005.
During his career, the boys water polo team won the Ocean League Championship twice, qualified for the playoffs in 10 out of 11 seasons, won 8 playoff games, had one Ocean League MVP, three Ocean League Most Outstanding Players, 35 All-Ocean League players and a total record of 176-116.
The girls water polo team faced similar successes. While coaching the girls team, Bowie led the team to win the first ever playoff game in Beverly history. The team had two Ocean League Most Outstanding Players, 16 All-Ocean League Players and a 72-95 record.
While Bowie was swim coach, the boys team captured three Ocean/Pioneer League titles, had countless CIF finalists, multiple Master’s Meet qualifiers and saw every school record fall except for the 500 free.
“I really had a great time as Beverly’s [aquatics] coach,” Bowie said. “I’ve never been at a job as long as this one and I feel like the high school is always going to be a big part of my life.”
The Athletic Department staff is still adjusting to Bowie’s recent resignation and the loss of a friendly face on campus.
“Bowie was very easy to get along with and meshed well into our staff,” Athletic Department Co-Chair Jason Newman said. “He was well liked by all our coaches and teachers who knew him.”
The feeling appears to be mutual for Bowie, who admitted that he was going to miss the entire coaching staff and athletic department.
“They are a fantastic group of people who don’t always get the credit they deserve. Beverly is lucky to have them all,” Bowie said. “I’m [especially] going to miss Coach Fegan, who was such a huge part of the Aquatics Program while I was there.”
Aquatics coach and physical education teacher Tricia Fegan claimed that she was saddened by Bowie’s departure, but knew that it was for an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.
“We will miss him, but I’m happy for him in his new endeavor,” Fegan said.
For Bowie, the idea of working at a new school is daunting, but he believes he made the right decision.
“It’s weird starting all over again but I felt like I was at a time in my life where I needed to move on and pursue other opportunities. As much as I loved my time at Beverly I knew that I’d hit the ceiling as far as career growth,” Bowie said. “Brentwood has a great facility, offered more money and more programs. If the faculty, parents and kids are half of what I’ve had the pleasure of knowing at Beverly then I think it was a great decision.”
Senior Justin Kim, who was a member of both the swim and water polo teams during his four years at Beverly, affirmed his gratitude for Bowie and all that he contributed to the aquatics teams.
“As sad as I am that Coach is leaving, I’m thankful that he stayed this long to keep our team together. He kept us hustling and on our toes,” Kim said. “I wish him all the luck at Brentwood, he deserves it.”
January 8 was a sad day for other student athletes as well. As Bowie exited the Swim Gym, a muddled group of teenagers flocked around him, bidding their farewells and pining for some sense of closure. Bowie kept his composure but claimed that he would miss a lot of things about Beverly.
“I’ll miss our lifeguard Clark, maybe the coolest guy on the planet. I’ll even miss all of the quirks the Swim Gym pool and basketball court had. All in all, though, I’m definitely going to miss the swimmers and water polo players most. It was really hard saying goodbye to them but, like I told them, they’ll move on and forget all about me once the new season with the new coach starts up,” Bowie said. “I hope that isn’t totally true but that’s usually how it works. The team is really strong and they’ll do fine without me.”
Currently, Artem Gevorkyan is the girls water polo coach, assisted by former Beverly student and water polo player Micah Smith. The Athletic Department is in the process of hiring a new swim coach.
“We will be having interviews for the swim position soon and hope to be able to make an announcement as soon as possible. We have placed an advertisement on the CIF website and we have received some inquiries from local swim coaches in the area,” Newman said.
As for Bowie, his imminent adjustment to a new school has encouraged him to provide some words of wisdom for the new swim coach.
“My advice: embrace the Norman Nation, treat my kids right and never go barefoot on the Swim Gym pool deck.”