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West Virginia announced the hiring of former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley on Friday evening. As the senior associate head coach, Bradley will be an experienced resource for newly promoted coordinator Tony Gibson.



MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has agreed to join the West Virginia coaching staff, industry sources told MetroNews on Friday.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen subsequently confirmed the hiring hours later with an announcement that Bradley would become senior associate head coach and work with newly promoted defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.

“Tom brings numerous years of successful college coaching experience and versatility,” Holgorsen said. “He is an excellent defensive teacher, has high energy and intensity and gives us a proven recruiter with regional and national ties. I look forward to Tom joining the Mountaineer family, and I know he will work extremely well with Tony, our defensive coordinator. The two have known each other for quite some time and share many of the same philosophies. We have put together a strong defensive staff under Tony’s leadership.”

The 57-year-old Bradley becomes the most experienced member of the West Virginia defensive staff, having served 33 seasons under Joe Paterno at Penn State—and even spending a four-game stint as interim head coach when Paterno was fired late in the 2011 season. Bradley was an assistant on two national championship teams, three Big Ten champions and coached in 26 bowl games.

“I am truly excited to join the West Virginia football program,” Bradley said in a statement issue by WVU. “I want to thank Coach Dana Holgorsen and Oliver Luck for this tremendous opportunity to contribute to the continued growth and success of the Mountaineer football program. Tony Gibson and I have recruited against each other in Pennsylvania for a lot of years, and it will be good to finally be on his side. I look forward to working with my friend to build a strong defensive unit at West Virginia.”

Holgorsen confirmed during a spring media luncheon Friday what MetroNews previously reported: that Gibson was being promoted from safeties coach to defensive coordinator. Gibson will now work with linebackers, according to Holgorsen, who said the newly hired Damon Cogdell would coach defensive linemen and Joe DeForest would return to coaching safeties on top of last year’s role as special-teams coordinator.

Holgorsen joked during the luncheon that he was interviewing coaches and seeking to fill the final staff vacancy with the “best available candidate” for the staff, whether that be offensive or defensive. Coaxing Bradley back into coaching obviously represents quite a coup, particularly since the hire was made only nine days before WVU opens spring practice on March 2.

Bradley’s specific coaching assignment remained unclear, though sources said he likely would focus on the defensive front seven. His career track certainly has been one of versatility.

A former two-year letterman for the Nittany Lions at defensive back, Bradley spent 20 years coaching Penn State’s running backs, receivers, outside linebackers and secondary before succeeding Jerry Sandusky as defensive coordinator in 2000. Bradley served in that capacity for 11 seasons until revelations of the Sandusky scandal forced Paterno’s ouster and ultimately led to a retooled staff under Bill O’Brien.

Bradley’s units enjoyed a stellar run from 2004 to 2009, repeatedly ranking among the nation’s top 15 in total and scoring defense.

During his two seasons out of coaching, Bradley worked with the Steelers broadcast network and, most recently, served as a CBS Sports football analyst.

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  • Markus Orealeus

    Strong pick up for the 'eers. Should make Western PA recruiting that much more interesting.

    Love how there is no hatred (nor should there be) for someone with Scrap's resume, even though he is a Penn Stater.

    • Scrap Heap

      Shameful. This literally makes me sick to my stomach. It's disheartening to see so many people so excited over getting this "coach" after everything that transpired at Penn St.

      Just awful.

      • Bowl Scout 1160

        scrapheap, do you work for ESPN? You must, given your pathetic lack of information or insight.

      • James Crawford


      • Red Dwarf

        Scrap Heap, I'm surprised and saddened by your response. You imply with absolutely with no information that Bradley was as guilty as Sandusky. Are you (falsely) accusing him?? If you have a coworker that's guilty of murder, does that make you guilty too? The only thing "shameful" is your attitude.

        • Scrap Heap

          Victim #4 testified under oath at the trial that Bradley walked in on he and Sandusky in the showers at Penn State. According to the testimony, Bradley was creeped out enough by it to stay in the locker room, conversing with them until it was over.

          I came across an article dated October 2008, SIX YEARS after that event, and Bradley went on and on gushing about his friend. Based on the article, they were workout buddies, remaining friends long after he witnessed the monster at work.

          State College is a small town. People knew. This is disgusting and it literally sickens me that nobody really seems to care. I won't set foot in Morgantown during football season for as long as this man and the people responsible for bringing him to WV are gone.

          • al

            Don't be a jerk. I'm sorry to tell you but your facts are all incorrect. If you were aware of what is presently transpiring in State College you'd realize that Sandusky was probably railroaded and the so called victims are about as credible as my dog.

            By the way, State College has over 70,000 people, it's not that small, and it's not Hooterville.

            People like you disgust me because you really believe 70,000 all know something. You can't even get two people to agree on something let alone an entire city.

          • Bowl Scout 1160

            You knucklehead. That was Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant coach at the time. And by way of making sure the records is clear, that alleged victim has never come forward; has never been identified and the charges relating to that incident were not successfully prosecuted. Clearly you are not a WVU man or a Lambert Trophy guy. Go back to trolling Alabama sites....

          • Scrap Heap

            I tried to post links.

            My post has been awaiting moderation all day.

          • Scrap Heap

            Google it. It is all out there.

          • Ryan

            No, I will not.. you brought it up so back it up with sources.. Don't expect everyone to do the works for you. you're claim is invalid.

          • Ryan

            Scrap Heap, first of all, where your sources and second, shut up about it.

          • doug

            You are accusing the wrong coach. The coach that walked in on #4 and the coach in the shower was a younger coach. A redheaded guy I can't remember his name. I saw that part of the trial.

      • martinsburg resident

        They didn't hire Sandusky! They hired a Defensive Coordinator to mentor Gibson... lighten up & Go Mountaineers!

    • Bygsky

      "even though he is a Penn Stater."


  • shawn

    This makes no sense to me. So Gibby it's the new D coordinator and Tom Bradley was brought in for what? I say make Bradley the coordinator and give Gibby some more money.

    • mose252

      tom Bradley was brought in to be the NEW head coach..c'mon you're smart enough to figure that out, AIN'T you?????????????????

    • Fan on the river

      I'm sure the logic is to bring his experience and experience while allowing the defense to keep the same scheme and terminology. I love the hire and think it will pay massive dividends- but some continuity on that side of the ball will be worth it's weight in gold.

    • Guardian

      You suggestion makes too much sense, Shawn. And we darn sure don't want to do that.

      I love the hire though - well done, Oliver. This is his work, no doubt about that.

      • Scrap Heap

        Oliver Luck...too bad he isn't in Texas.

        • Ut Oh

          Shame your not anywhere but here. Go away!

      • shawn

        I mean I like the hire but I just want to know what Bradley will be doing. It should bring a whole new dimension to our team. I like it

        • Ryan

          Shawn, he was brought in to be the associate head coach. Just be glad he here for whatever he suppose to be because he a great recruiter on defense.

        • Aaron

          Coaching football

          • James Crawford

            Coaching rather green coaches at coaching on a higher level. Call him an expert consultant... that's essentially what he will be doing (he probably doesn't want to coach more than two or three years).

  • nsmyth

    Great pickup WVU! good luck scrap, good to see you back!

  • Alex

    I am happy there was someone available with the history coach Bradley has. Looks like the defense is getting better before the guys hit the practice field. Way to go coach Holgorsen . Or Mr. Luck . Or both. One other thing . Hope to see you at the game tomorrow . We saying to play better when there is a large crowd on hand.

    • Scrap Heap

      Hopefully Holgorsen, Luck, and this whole staff gets axed soon. That's really the only way to get the stench of this hire off the program.

  • Psufan

    You guys got a great new coach! Nice pick up. Good luck scrap we love you man.

    • GoEers

      We are certainly happy to have him! How did he get the name scraps?

      • Bygsky

        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.[8]

        From wiki

        • sad


  • flossrancher

    Who is Gibson? The first mention of that name is "Gibson was being promoted from safeties coach to defensive coordinator." Is this one of those insider sports stories you're not supposed to read unless you already know?

  • Way to go

    This is an outstanding get. This guy is a difference maker and could be just what the defense needs to get out of that funk of the past few years.

  • steve

    Finally a defensive coach

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Coming from a good program. Sounds like he could really help us and set the right temperament. Ole Sasquatch approves.

  • WVU1

    How in the world can Tony Gibson be defensive coordinator with this type of experience on staff?

    • KeatonsCorner

      Luck seems to have a pattern of pairing young hires with experienced "input'ers" around him.

      Bradley will be a coach for the players and for Gibby.

  • ginger

    SCRAP is back!

    • Scrap Heap


      • Hailey

        Scap I'm with you it is a home run hire. Not to mention WVU is currently 4th overall in team recruiting rankings for 2014. Heading in the right direction, very exciting ... Glad you share our joy

  • tw eagle

    well , Mr Bradley being 57 won't seem to be a threat to Holgerson . . . my guess , Bradley will be on a year-to-year deal . . . most of his pay & bennies paid outside the contract . . .
    spend a couple of years tutoring Gibson in the fundamentals of unifying a diverse group of young men into playing something that resembles a cohesive effort in taking the ball and momentum away from the opponent .. . .
    a couple more years(away from the PSU stink) , a little success at WVU , and Bradley's services will be sought out by bigger , better known football programs . . .

    although I think a younger candidate from the MAC would come into Morgantown with more 'fire in the belly' to succeed , this short term 'tutoring' fix can be a win-win for WVU and Bradley . . .

    • BH

      The hiring of Tom Bradley is great news for the defense. However, do you really think Dana Holgorsen decided to Hire Coach Bradley? I'm guessing Oliver Luck had everything to do with this decision, not DH. It's confusing though, that for every accomplishment Mr. Luck has, he turns around and does something that is baffling. (DH's $11 million buyout ; Joe Deforest!!!)

      • BL

        Holgo actually did the hiring. He has been trying to get Bradley to join the staff for over a year.

  • Troll

    Great pick up. Can't wait to see some of the idiotic post that are sure to come, some can't be satisfied no matter what . Keep up the good work Holgorsen!

    Go Mountaineers !

  • wvfan

    Good fit.

  • Ryan

    Great get! I'm ready for some football.