Tom Bradley (American football)
|Alma mater||Penn State|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
1979-1981 & 1996-1999
|Penn State (GA)
Penn State (RB)
Penn State (WR)
Penn State (OLB/ST)
Penn State (DB)
Penn State (DC/DB)
Penn State (interim HC)
West Virginia (AHC)
|Head coaching record|
Thomas Mark Bradley is an American football coach and former collegiate player. He is currently the Senior Associate Head Coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers football team. He is best known, however, for his four-decade association with Penn State Nittany Lions football as a player and coach. Bradley served as the interim head coach of Penn State following Joe Paterno's dismissal nine games into his 46th season as head coach and left the Penn State program in 2012. He launched his personal website, TomBradleyINC.com, via Twitter in June 2012 and is an active user on the social media platform, operating under the handle @TomScrapBradley.
From 2004 to 2011 Penn State’s defense ranked 3rd in the nation in Scoring Defense (16.4 ppf) and was 5th in Total Defense (298.7ypg). In 2009, the Nittany Lions ranked in the Top 15 nationally in the six primary defensive categories. Additionally, from 2004 to 2009 Penn State finished in the Top 15 in Total and Scoring Defense. From 2004 through most of the 2011 season, Penn State held 53 of its 88 opponents to 17 points or fewer. 10 of those 53 came in Penn State’s illustrious 2009 campaign.
Bradley has been recognized for his defense’s outstanding performances. He was named the Associated Press Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2005 and was named Rivals.Com Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2008. Additionally Rivals.com had Bradley ranked as the 2nd best Defensive Coordinator in the nation before he was named interim head coach in 2011.
Bradley was named a graduate assistant for the 1979 season immediately following his graduation from Penn State in 1978. He became a full-time assistant midway through the 1979 season. Over the next 20 years, he coached running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs, linebackers, and special teams. In 1999 Bradley was named Defensive Coordinator at Penn State.
Bradley was a highly successful recruiter for the Nittany Lion in addition to his role defensively; serving as a lead recruiter for Nittany Lions such as Shane Conlan, Lavar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee, Brandon Short, and Justin King. Bradley has coached many All-American and all Big Ten standouts including Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, Devon Still, Shane Conlan, and David Macklin. Bradley was a part of 33 Bowl Games at Penn State.
Through the years Bradley remained loyal to Penn State and Paterno, and it was widely rumored that Paterno was grooming him as a successor. Bradley's feelings about coaching at Penn State or another school have been quoted, "there's a lot of loyalty that has been built up over the years. There's a family atmosphere between the staff, the players, and the community. It's a place that means a lot to my family. I don't want to go be a head coach just to say I've been a head coach. That's never been part of it. If I find something better, I'll go. But I haven't found it. It's that simple."
In January, 2011, Bradley was reported to have been interviewed as a candidate for the head coaching openings at the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University, but Bradley ultimately remained on Penn State's staff for 2011. On November 9, 2011, Bradley was named Penn State's interim head coach after the university's board of trustees fired Paterno. He coached Penn State for the final four games of the season, including the 2012 TicketCity Bowl.
On January 7, 2012, Bradley resigned from the Penn State coaching staff after not being named head coach, having spent 37 years at Penn State as a player, graduate assistant and full-time assistant.
Bradley spent two years as the football color analyst for CBS Sports before being hired by West Virginia University's Dana Holgorsen as Senior Associate Head Coach on February 21, 2014. Bradley coaches the Defensive Line, specifically.
Bradley is the second-oldest of seven children. He graduated from Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, PA in 1974, where he played basketball and football. Tom was a three-year letterman in football and a captain his senior year. His father, Sam, played basketball for the University of Pittsburgh. His older brother Jim was a captain and standout linebacker at Penn State from 1973 to 1974, played for the Cincinnati Bengals, and is the long-time team surgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His younger brother Matt played for the Nittany Lions from 1979 to 1981. Bradley's nephew, Jim Kanuch, also played receiver at Penn State.His two sisters Patty and Cassy were outstanding All-American track athletes at Villanova
Bradley is a graduate of Penn State and played for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 1975 to 1978 as a defensive back. He received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and completed a master's in Sports Administration. Undersized, but tenacious, Bradley was given the nickname "Scrap" by teammate John "Mother" Dunn. In 1978 the Nittany Lions special teams adopted the name, calling themselves the "Scrap Pack." Fans printed t-shirts and bumper stickers honoring them. He became a full-time coach after graduation.
Bradley was inducted into the Cambria County Hall of Fame in 1998, and served as the honorary chair of the Special Olympics in 2006. In 2014 he will be inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He holds the title of having coached the most games at Beaver Stadium than anyone living.
- "Tom Bradley Coaching Profile". West Virginia University. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Tom Bradley Profile". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Mark Schlabach. "Bradley's roots run deep at Penn State". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Zeise, Paul (2011-01-06). "Penn State's Bradley likely to get Pitt job". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- Zeise, Paul (2011-01-06). "Outgoing coach Tom Bradley's full statement: "Penn State will always have my support"". Centre Daily Times (State College, PA). Retrieved 2010-01-07.
- Jake Trotter; Dana O'Neil (2014-02-21). "Tom Bradley takes West Virginia job". ESPN.
- "Alumni Notes". Bishop McCort High School.
- "Penn State's next coach?". San Francisco Chronicle. 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Frank Bodani. "Lions can count on "Scrap"". York Daily Record. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
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