WHEELING, W.Va. — Adorned in a V-neck sweater-and-tie combo straight out of the JoePa collection, Tom Bradley discussed his move to West Virginia, a job for which had 33 years of seasoning at Penn State.

Bradley was jovial and folksy while speaking with WVU beat reporters for the first time since his February hiring. His addition became THE story of the Mountaineers’ offseason and only became possible because of his friendship with new defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.

“That had an effect on it,” Bradley said Saturday, who reportedly declined West Virginia’s first approach before agreeing to come aboard because of Gibson’s persistence.

“It’s a good opportunity to help Tony in any way that I can. He worked me good. He recruited me.”

And now it’s Bradley who’s beginning to work—and deconstruct—the defensive linemen. Not around for their recruitment, he’s trying to learn their backstories, even through informal conversations at the training table. Beyond what he sees on tape, Bradley wants to know what buttons to push on his new players (just as Gibson recognized what buttons of Bradley’s to press in luring him to Morgantown).

“As (the players) begin to trust you, they’ll tell you more and more,” Bradley said.

Having coached in 27 bowls and on two national championship staffs during his three decades at Penn State, Bradley was considered only a peripheral figure in the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse scandal that toppled the program and caused Joe Paterno’s ouster.

It also led to Bradley spending two seasons out of coaching, though his foray into broadcasting wasn’t a dead period for professional development.

“You go out and do those television games, you sit down with the coaches and the coordinators,” he said. “You talk and they get on the board and you get on the board, and you have a lot of fun in that.”

He’ll need to continue the learning curve as he adjusts to coaching defensive linemen, one of the few units he didn’t oversee during a diverse career at Penn State.

“I’ve coached wide receivers, I’ve coached running backs at Penn State, secondary, special teams, linebackers, I’ve coordinated and been head coach,” Bradley said. “Coaching’s coaching.”


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Comments

  • BH

    Best coaching hire under the OL regime.
    Let's Goooo Mountaineers!!!!!!!!

  • mad hatter

    sports fans, don't kid yourselves, Harris isn't the only one leaving.\ but hey, we'll be young and we can build on that.
    I can't understand it though, with a HOF coach with tons of character, an inspiration to all, a man you can look up to and say" hey , i want to live my life just like bobby, without the dui's and falling downs , but hey, it's part of life,,, go eers.

  • Jerry Mountaineer

    Look, I can' claim to be an expert on Tom Bradley just from watching a 13 minute interview. But I sure was impressed with the man. He has great personality and experience. He knows how to win. He sounds like a man who understands players and really wants to get to know them as well as he can. When I tell people football is about love they laugh in my face. But when players believe in their coaches and their teammates and they make the sacrifices they must make in order to be successful I don't know what else you can call it. I believe he can get these players to buy in. I'm stoked.

  • Bob Antion

    Now there is the real coach in waiting !!!

    Oliver , why didn't you call TB in the first place ?

  • mad hatter

    let me try my best to get this right,,, Bradley who coached LB's at Penn state, for ten or so yrs. is going to be the DL coach, cause we didn't hire anyone who knew anything about coaching the DL...
    And, cogdell is going to be Gibson's understudy at LB , cause cogdell doesn't know what he is doing, and Gibson will also coach the LB's and be the DC.
    Then brain dead deforest, who flunked out of the DC job, gets to coach the safeties,,

    no ........... wonder our def. is so screwed up.
    and who made this great arrangement for the coaches?,, i am mystified, and terrified.

  • Ron

    Coach Bradley,

    Hey, what else can I say? This man is one of the best coaches in America and his leadership will pay off huge dividends for everyone @ WVU. Hands down, one class act.

  • pghmountaineer

    Coach Bradley is going to make a big difference to this team over the next several years. I'm really glad he's on our sidelines.
    Class guy.

  • Alex

    Good job covering the interview great footage, liked it very much. Hope you get to stay around for a long time Tom, I've known you forever.
    Go Mountaineers..

  • Long Time Fan

    Makes me fill good about the coaching staff to have a man like Tom Bradley on it. He has been there seen it all in his 30+ years. It was a strange thought came to mind about Tom being at Penn State when the scandal went on a couple years ago. If someone would slang mud at him over something he had nothing to do with.. If it was William, you should be able to figure out who William really is in real life. I know who he is, it can be only one person . Just think who would hate Luck and Holg. The most.

  • Low Rider

    Nice addition to the WVU coaching staff. Bradley's experience will help Tony Gibson's learning curve as D coordinator (still shaking my head over that one).

  • TW EAGLE

    well , the scapegoat has been heard from . . .
    other than tutoring Gibson , I don't give this reject from pervert state any credence at all . . . " HC in waiting " ? ? ? another person blinded by the mystique of psu . . .
    if Bradley actually had any usable football
    skills he would have garnered a coaching job at another school without missing a beat when the jopa regime imploded . . .
    this is the guy "set up" to get fired if/when the WVU season fails to meet expectations . . .

    • Charles

      OMG! What ridiculous statements. That kind of comment is what make people think WV fans are crazy. We need somebody on that coaching staff that has a clue. It can't hurt that he has been around a winning program.

  • Mike

    We need a guy like this on the coaching staff. Any position job would be fine with me. His personality alone will make a huge difference!

  • Shawn

    Can we remove the comment section on these articles? Comments like before are childish and rude.

  • In da stickes

    What ever his role, Coach Bradley is a welcome addition to the WVU coaching staff. He will be coaching more than the players IMHO.

  • Sam

    Can we just go ahead & remove the "head coach in waiting" tag now & give him the job? Or are we still pretending like that's not the plan?

    • Josh

      Like Oliver Luck would ever be crazy enough to attempt that. Twice.