Gardner is new Eagle basketball coach
The Putnam County coaching carousel continues and South Putnam has hired an Eagle native to coach the girls' basketball for the 2015-16 season. On Monday the South Putnam school board approved 1994 graduate Brian Gardner as the varsity head coach.
"I want to thank the school board, Bruce Bernhardt, Mike Schimpf and Troy Burgess," Gardner said. "Those people allowed me the opportunity. The most exciting thing is, being a South Putnam Eagle all my life, I got a chance to see these girls and the success that they had last year. Now I'm able to add to that success and build on the excitement level."
Gardner has coached 19 years at South Putnam in a variety of positions both in middle school and high school. He is currently the varsity boys' track and field coach.
"I know the girls are a great group," Gardner said. "They are great leaders on and off the court by the way they handle themselves. I'm excited about coaching them. That was one of the reasons I took the job. I knew the type of girls I was going to be able to coach. They're young ladies that exemplify great character."
Gardner said that while there are many challenges with a new coach, the Eagles are ready to face any obstacle head on.
"We moving into the new conference," Gardner said. "I'm even excited about moving and I think we'll compete and have success in that conference. In many ways we get to set our own new mark in the WIC. I call those challenges but I think the girls are up for that challenge."
Last season the Eagles went 13-12, going better than .500 for the first time in nine years.
"It's always a challenge when there are new faces coming up. I'm excited to build a program from the high school level all the way down to the elementary program," Gardner said. "I'm excited to have this group of girls. I think the girls are great and I can't say much else about the girls."