And Tom Bradley it is

Scrap Bradley came around, so to speak, and will be WVU’s associate head coach and linebackers coach.

As expected!

30 Responses to “And Tom Bradley it is”

  1. Patchy says:

    Hallelujah! Gibby is an acquaintance/friend but Bradley is a friend of a friend and universally respected (or as much as is possible in this game). He was, in Herman Wouk’s phrase ‘the last captain of the Caine’ and, while nominally given control of the program for a spell, was only commissioned to drive the ship into the scrapyard.

    His radio work for the Steelers network has been impressive both for the Xs & Os and for his insight into the mentality of the coaches before, during and after games.

    The word panic is not in his vocabulary and hopefully his sense of calm borne of experience will be a steadying influence on the rest of the program including the offense and, yes, the head coach.

  2. avb31 says:

    I hate this hire. Absolutely hate it. This won’t be the popular opinion on this forum, but I just don’t like it.

    I like this forum and I don’t want to engage in a back and forth over my opinion of this hire… I’ll just hang up and listen.

  3. Rugger says:

    It takes balls to hire someone who is qualified to replace you when you are on the hot seat. All in!

    Tom Bradley brings experience, recruiting and poise, those won’t hurt.

    If there is a more qualified guy available for the position, I’m not sure who that would be.

  4. avb31,

    I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I’m skeptical as all hell.

    I want to believe that Bradley isn’t a dinosaur who will run a defensive scheme that doesn’t fit against Big 12 offenses. I want to believe that…

  5. Philip says:

    i agree with patchy. bradley could provide the elder statesman role luck envisioned — hoped for — with the “head-coach-in-waiting” arrangement back in 2010. a steadying, seasoned hand on deck to serve as sounding board could do wonders for a young coach in the rough.

  6. Karl says:

    I feel confident Bradley won’t field the worst defense in Mountaineer history. That alone would be an improvement.

  7. smeer says:

    time will tell. I think it’s a ballsy move to go after and woo a veteran hall-of-fame DCoordinator. The guy has pedigree and a resume second to none.

    as Clarence shared, we don’t know if he still has “it,” though I don’t expect that two years out has dumbed him down. One more veteran voice should help not hurt – especially with a new DC and a fresh our of HS O-line coach.

    Which gets to the issue of chemistry. It sounds like Gibby and Bradley have it and that bodes well. Of course it could be different in the heat of battle in a half-time locker room. There will always be a level of professionalism amongst them – but I wold hope for more than that – a group that really complements and conflicts (problem solving and arguing absent of ego)and schemes well together.

    And Bradley has faced no gauntlet in his years at PSU like he will face in the B12. My hunch is he likes this challenge – he wants to be part of a stamp that can slow down and maybe even get a stop.

    He had other offers and that says something about Luck and DH being influencers/good car salesmen.

    And I can imagine how he will improve our recruiting – Give him PA and NJ? gonna need it going up against Franklin’s hounds at PSU.

    There should be no talk of him coming from a tainted PSU program. PSU cleaned house when the JoePa scandal broke and Bradley stayed as interim – that – on the surface” tells me PSU vetted him and we should be able to rest easy.

    I like it from 50,000 feet but don’t have a crystal ball.

  8. smeer says:

    *stamp = staff

  9. Once again we’re back to emphasizing coaching over personnel despite several pieces of evidence suggesting the latter has a lot to do with the former looking good/bad.


  10. Karl says:

    That’s a great take smeer. Despite the huge new challenge he’s going to face scheming against the Big 12, this is actually a low pressure situation for him. Given his track record over three decades, and WVU’s over the last two years, no one is likely to point the finger at him if this defense doesn’t produce. And if it does climb from 90th best in the country or whatever it was to, say, 55th or some level that’s at least respectable — which is doable — than he’s going to get a lot of attention for it.

    I just can’t believe we were able to snag a high-profile coach like this. It’s hard to interest good candidates in any situation where they know their future is uncertain after a year, nevertheless a guy with instant credibility in our region like Bradley.

  11. SheikYbuti says:

    No surprise from avb. You’d probably have to hold a gun to his head to get him to like anything Luck or Holgorsen does. That’s fine; there are plenty of others who feel the same way. I’m just not one of them.

  12. avb31 says:

    I liked the Cogdell hire. So there :)

  13. Down South says:

    Hiring a linebackers coach from Penn State. Sounds risky.

  14. Mack says:

    We are talking about an assistant coach who isn’t the offensive or defensive coordinator. Call me crazy, but I don’t really care.

  15. Rugger says:

    “Once again we’re back to emphasizing coaching over personnel despite several pieces of evidence suggesting the latter has a lot to do with the former looking good/bad.”

    Doesn’t Bradley’s recruiting capabilities address the personnel issue as well? Assuming he’s still “got it” at the ripe old age of 57, that is.

    Cogdell and Galloway were arguably hired for their recruiting capabilities over their coaching accomplishments at the D1 level as well.

    I would say HCDH is picking up what you are laying down CO.

  16. Rugger says:

    *Cogdell, Galloway and Gibson……

  17. Rugger says:

    *Cogdell, Galloway, Seider and Gibson…..

    Sorry, it’s early.

  18. Rugger, I second that, assuming this is a long-term situation. If the team underperforms next year, or possibly just performs, which is to say does what they are unfortunately expected to do, which isn’t much, Bradley won’t have much influence on the future personnel.

    Mack, you’re right in theory that this is nominally not that big of a deal, but it’s probably naive to think someone with the gravitas of Bradley won’t have a far greater influence on the overall defensive product than just coaching one position. In fact, I’d say his influence should be felt and witnessed on all three sides of the ball, to say nothing of his influence on the still relatively inexperienced coaching staff. And in so far as this hire represents a step away from the insularity and croneyism seen in the majority of college football programs, I’d call it a resounding positive.

  19. Rugger,

    If he has an impact on recruiting a la Doc Holliday, then yes I’ll buy that.

    Otherwise, you can scheme all you want and draw up the X’s and O’s, but you need the players to execute.

  20. Sammy says:

    Tom Bradley’s last game as coach was against a Kevin Sumlin/Case Keenum/Kliff Kingsbury/Dana offense Houston team that threw for over 500 yards in a bowl win over (lame duck) Penn State

  21. SheikYbuti says:

    See? His numbers are already an improvement over ours.

  22. smeer says:

    thanks for the laugh Sheik

  23. The 25314 says:

    If X’s and O’s don’t matter than why is Dana Holgorsen our head coach? He’s not a recruiter. And why do coaches make 6 and 7 figures? And why do they hold practices and study film? And why do the same players have different results under different coaches?

    Bradley is a home run hire if he’s running the defense. Every one of his D’s at PSU were exponentially better than any of Holgorsen’s defenses. He’d rectify the bill of goods Luck sold us about an ace Offensive mind paired with an ace D mind (Casteel). However, if he’s taking orders from Tony Gibson, I have to question Holgorsen’s sanity.

  24. The 25314,

    1. Bradley’s not running the defense, Tony Gibson is the DC…unless there’s some twisted arrangement that we aren’t privy to.

    2. Don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say that X’s and O’s don’t matter. I said that execution matters and otherwise it’s nothing but schemes on paper. Is that so far-fetched? I don’t think it is.

    3. Different results can occur due to a number of factors. Schemes are but one. Why do different results occur with different players when the same scheme is utilized? See: WVU’s defense in 2007 compared to 2006.

    4. Bradley’s defenses at Penn State didn’t face the caliber of offenses residing in the Big 12. That being said, yes he did a pretty good job at Penn State.

  25. smeer says:

    CO brings up the question for me.

    I think Bradley on the surface is an excellent hire.

    But Gibson is the DC (what’s his title?) while Bradley is what? Associate Head Coach.

    what’s the chain of command? who makes final decisions? and that takes on two very different streams – the less time-pressured pre-game tape watching/scheming and the very time-pressured in-game and half-time adjustments?

    Has DH learned from year two? a rookie DC DeForest paired with a more experienced Patterson as that dreadful (nightmarish) term “CO-Defensive Coordinators.” Two cooks, but who adds the ingredients and who stirs the pot?

    Will Bradley function more as consultant to Gibson?

    I suspect that Bradly will find it hard to sit in the back seat and not drive and/or using this foot-in-the-door moment to spring him back into a DC role. If so, he chose a tough place to make that happen (B12) (But all that being said – doesn’t look like he wanted to get to far away from Pennsylvania.)

    From personal experience, for twenty years I’ve been the lead guy in two branches with positive results but now am an associate in my current branch. I’m trying to be professional, but inside it’s killing me watching my lead lead poorly. These guys have bigger egos than I do I suspect – just by the nature of their work. So back to chemistry – how they work with one another – which requires a clear org chart.

    Okay – just went to the website to look at titles. And it gets even weirder

    Bradley is listed directly under HCDH as “SENIOR Associate Head Coach.” and Gibson is lowly “Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator/LB)”

    The “DC” is in parenthesis?!? Gibby is one of many assistants?

    Someone (MIKE?) want to draw an org chart for this?

    Is this an Ollie Luck push on DH?

    lot’s of questions now – at least for me.

  26. smeer,

    I believe those are the titles reflected in their contracts.

  27. Mack says:

    I don’t get the freak out about everyone’s job. It’s February. If they said that every assistant is going to coach running backs and they’re just going to leave the defense to coach themselves. . . I’d still watch the first game in August/September to see if it works.

  28. smeer says:

    questions = freakout

    I am interested in how the staff is put together

    I was surprised by the titles.

    I was hoping Mike could answer or get answers.

    If this kinda stuff doesn’t interest you Mick – that’s cool. It does interest me.

  29. AnxiousEER97 says:

    This is a good hire. A savior? Probably not, but we need all the help we can get on D. I thought the defensive unit looked better at times last year. I thought Patterson was legit. And he seemed like an adult. Bradley brings experience to a coaching staff that sorely needs some maturity.

  30. I love you, Doug! says:

    I didn’t know Tom Brady had retired from the Patriots or was interested in coaching defense. Huh.