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Meet the Coach: Brad Macgowan

Posted October 14, 2020.

Meet the Coach: Brad Macgowan

Position at Clarendon: Head of Health and Physical Education

What co-curriculars do you coach? Senior Boys Football and I assist with the Senior Girls Football. I’m also involved with the Boys Basketball teams.

How long have you been coaching for?

Since I began teaching at the Clarendon Junior School back in 2003. I have also been coaching at the community level for over 10 years with clubs such as East Point, North Ballarat VFL team and most recently with Rokewood. 

What do you enjoy most about coaching at Clarendon and why are you passionate about your co-curricular?

I love working with the students on a common goal outside of the classroom. It allows you to see the students in a different context and have some fun whilst being active. 

What are some of your most memorable moments from coaching at Clarendon? 

Each year’s Senior Boys Football team is memorable in its own way. The sheer talent of players in the 2016 team including AFL listed players Jarrod and Tom Berry, Hugh McCluggage, Willem Drew and Flynn Appleby, along with other players such as Kyle O’Connor, Joe Harrison, Kieren Priestly and Robert Cordon-McKindlay, made it a special team. In that year we won the Herald Sun Country Shield in a convincing fashion and were a very determined group. 

2016 Herald Sun Shied team

The 2014 team that defeated St. Patrick’s College is also very memorable. I will never forget players like Korey Smith dominating in the ruck, Matt Davidson feeding the ball out and Darcy Tucker streaming away from a stoppage with the ball in his hands. Adam Johnson, Shaun Hogan, Cody Grant and Sam Dunstan made us an exciting and damaging team when we went forward and we were very hard to score against with defenders like Jack Onley, Keegan Mason, James Richards and Josh Webb controlling the backline.  

Our matches against Ballarat Grammar are always memorable also. A few moments that come to mind against Grammar include Charlie Wilson’s midfield dominance and goals in 2018, Mick Harrington kicking a late match winning goal in the mud in 2011 and Matt Rice’s match winning torpedo goal in the final seconds.

Some other memories include playing matches under lights at North Ballarat, having Old Collegian Hawthorn fitness guru Andrew Russell take training and Chris Johnson’s mark and goal against Ballarat High School, followed by the entire team surrounding him in congratulations. 

Aside from learning about team participation and improving fitness, what are the benefits of participating in your co-curricular? 

When you talk to Old Collegians who played football for the school, they talk about how much fun they had playing with their mates that they spent every day with. It’s not until they leave school that they realise how hard to replicate that experience is in community sport. For many of them, school football ends up being their favourite football memory. Students also learn how to prepare for and overcome challenges and adversity by doing everything they can in attempt to perform to the best of their ability and then reflect, learn and move on whether they win, lose or draw. 

What are some of your favourite sports and hobbies?    

I am still involved in coaching football and currently co-coach a local CHFL team called Rokewood with Shaune Moloney (you probably all saw the Farm Fit video recently!). I also ride Mountain Bikes a lot with friends (including our Head of Sport Tom Nash) and recently retired from basketball after rupturing my ACL in a Grand Final (thanks to Clarendon parent Luke Spencer for doing a great job of reconstructing it for me!).

What else do you like to do in your spare time? 

If I’m not playing, coaching or watching sport, I will be spending time with my wife Jess (PE teacher at Clarendon) and my daughters Ruby and Ava.