Shorewood running back Robert Banks runs the ball during football practice on Sept. 19, 2018, in Shoreline. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Shorewood running back Robert Banks runs the ball during football practice on Sept. 19, 2018, in Shoreline. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Shorewood hires new head football coach

Rob Petschl returns for his second stint as the Thunderbirds’ leader.

A familiar face is back to lead the football program at Shorewood High School.

Rob Petschl is returning to the school for his second stint as head coach, Shoreline Public Schools announced Friday.

“We are excited to have someone with Rob’s credentials and coaching experience,” the district said in a release. “… We know what we get with Rob, and we are confident he checks all the boxes to get Shorewood to a competitive level within WESCO and District 1. He came into the interview process with a plan and an excitement to be the leader of the Shorewood Football Program.”

Petschl previously led the Shorewood football team from 2010-2014, compiling a 12-38 record over five seasons. He spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator at crosstown rival Shorecrest and was the defensive coordinator at Bishop Blanchet for five seasons before his first stint at Shorewood.

The Shorecrest defense vastly improved with Petschl as its coordinator. The Scots allowed 28.2 points per game over the three seasons prior to Petschl’s arrival. They allowed just 19.5 points per game under Petschl, including 8.4 points per game during the shortened five-game season earlier this year.

Petschl will be the defensive play-caller for the Thunderbirds during the upcoming season.

Petschl said he already has a strong familiarity with the Shorewood football team. His son and daughter are freshmen at Shorewood this school year and his younger son is a seventh-grader in the school district. He’s also coached many of the football team’s underclassmen while coaching youth sports in Shoreline, where he lives.

“When the job came up, it was a good way for me to stay involved with the community, keep coaching football and have the opportunity to coach my own kids, as well as their friends,” Petschl said. “So it was a great opportunity for me. The timing was perfect. I didn’t want to get out of coaching, but I was going to so I could watch (my kids) grow up and play sports, and now it fits in where I can do that within the same school.”

Petschl replaces Brandon Torrey, who led the Thunderbirds for the six seasons since Petschl’s departure following the 2014 season. Torrey went 13-41 in his tenure, including a huge turnaround in 2018 after the team opted to play an independent schedule in 2017 to help rebuild the program. Shorewood went 5-5 in 2018 — its first .500 season since at least 2003 — and made a Week 10 playoff matchup just two years removed from consecutive winless seasons.

“I’m very excited to be back in the community on the side of the district where my family is at, and it’s a great opportunity,” Petschl said. “I think Coach Torrey did a great job with those kids and I hope build on his success.”

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