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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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  • Steve

    Why is he not our d coordinator again? Maybe he's the backup if holgs doesn't pan out this year.

  • Smitty13

    Great, a proven def coach with cord experience and we hire gib by! Now would someone explain that one to me! The circus just got another act!

    • daddyo

      behind the scenes, who knows,, gibson has a terrible record as a def. coach,, maybe he's on a short leesh... hope so.

  • richard #1

    ps......for those of you getting on here and dissing this hire because of the Penn State scandle----just be quite. this guy had nothing to do with any of it. typical guilt by association is what your doing. that or you just love to put WVU down any time you get a chance. Bradley is quality all the way!!

    • sad

      Google it. You might change your mind.

  • richard #1

    WOW!! what a hire. this guy will bring experience, stability, and a vast knowledge of the game. i still can't believe WVU was able to hire Bradley. he needs to be doing more than the assigned duties he was given. for those who don't know this guys background--------this is a hiring homerun!

    • please

      There's a reason nobody wanted him. WVU has no shame and is desperate. Why else would they go after somebody as toxic as Bradley?

  • NJ Lion

    As a Penn State Alum and father of a WVU Alum, good luck to Scraps. You got a good coach and better person.

    • GoEers

      We're looking forward to him putting his stamp on the defense.

  • JimJim

    Sounds like he got a great retirement job. Nothing to do!

  • FUAllWVUHaters

    The article says his assignment remains unclear and every other article said Gibby was the new defensive coordinator, but if you pay attention to this article it says gibson will be working with linebackers so hopefully bradley will be coordinator. Thats what I took from the article. I just hope that happens

  • Old PSU Guy

    As a PSU alum/fan with a son heading to WVU this fall, I am thrilled for the Mountaineers. Scrap, from the way he played, is a great coach and someone who will recruit well in Western PA......actually anywhere. He won't have a problem if Gibson has the title or whatever the roles are. Ron Vanderlinden was a HC at Maryland and worked for Scrap as our linebackers coach. Total class & professionalism. There won't be any egos in the way in Morgantown. That just isn't Scrap's style. I think he turned down MSU years ago to stay at PSU.

    I can't wait for my first Mountaineers game as a Dad of a student. Let's Goooooooooooo..........

    • GoEers

      Very good post!

      Great hire!

  • El Supremo

    Think ahead fans. This is an Oliver Luck long term move. When November arrives and each of you want to fire Holgorsen, his QUALIFIED replacement is already in place.

    • daddyo

      can't wait

    • JimJim

      "Coach in Waiting" I love that plan.

  • sad

    Turning in my fan card until Holgorsen is out. Hiring anyone associated with the horrors that happened at PSU is unforgivable.

    • shawn

      And here it goes

      • sad

        If you are okay with this, its your problem, not mine.

        • shawn

          The Penn State ordeal was and still is tragic I don't see how hiring Bradley is sick?

          • Grant

            Here is link. Didn't see them doing anything. Still hard to believe he knew nothing about it.


          • sad

            The guy saw the pedophile in the shower with boys. Reported nothing. Google it. It's in trial testimony.

            Loyal to the Penn State cult until the end. It's sad that our program has sunk to this level.

  • TRB

    DeFore can't coach a shaving team, our pass defense will be a joke. Wonder what he has on Dana that allows him to stay on staff. Terrible

  • Actionbx

    This is an excellent hire!!! A man that knows defense and will light a fire under them boys to go get it. Won't be surprised if he is named co-defensive coordinator within a year.

  • Slugger

    All I can say is WOW!!! What a great hire.

  • GoEers

    Great hire!!

    It's a Great Day to be a Mountaineer Wherever You MayBe!!!

    • sad

      This is a sad day. Disgusting.

      • dave

        You have no clue what your talking about! We got the best man available and it's idiots like you that ruin a good man's career by guilt by association... Bradley is one of the great human beings in all of college sports and was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was NEVER EVER implicated in any wrongdoing...

        • sad

  • Art in Ohio

    This is a major hire. Great job Hogs. Makes not sense. Let me explain in one word....RECRUITING...

    • Guardian

      Correction - great job Luck. No way Holgy did this one. You do realize that having Bradley on staff, gives Luck a viable option as an interim head coach should he have to relieve Holgy of command in mid-season.

      • shawn

        That's exactly the case and Holgorsen knows it.