Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wvu, Bradley a Good Union

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wvu, Bradley a Good Union

Article excerpt

Congratulations to West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck and football coach Dana Holgorsen. They didn't make the same mistake that Pitt officials did in 2010 and 2011. West Virginia had a chance to hire former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and got a deal done. A good coach and a good man is back where he belongs -- in college football.

Bradley is West Virginia's new senior associate head coach and will work with the team's defensive linemen. His first day was Monday. "I don't know the players' names and I can't find the team room," Bradley said. "But at least they haven't fired me yet."

Bradley isn't just a terrific defensive tactician. He brings the West Virginia program instant credibility with recruits across Pennsylvania, especially in Western Pennsylvania. He is regarded as a dynamic recruiter, among the best in the country, which isn't good news for Pitt or Penn State, for that matter.

But Bradley's hiring didn't come without some controversy for West Virginia. He left his hometown, Johnstown, and went to Penn State to play for coach Joe Paterno in 1975 and never left. He worked 33 years as an assistant on the Penn State staff and, for a long time, was considered the heir apparent to Paterno. Bradley ended up serving as Penn State head coach for the final four games of the 2011 season, but the circumstances were extraordinary because Paterno had been fired as the biggest part of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case. Bradley and most of the Penn State staff also were swept out after the season.

It was fair to ask Bradley what he knew about Sandusky and the horror he caused on the Penn State campus. Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June 2012 of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

"I never saw anything like that," Bradley said. "If I had, I would have reported it ...

"I never [felt blackballed]. I felt there would be other opportunities for me to coach again. I had opportunities before this, but the timing wasn't right. I wasn't mentally right yet."

Bradley was a color analyst on CBS college football telecasts in 2013.

"You miss it. You miss coaching," Bradley said. "You miss the day- to-day stuff that makes college football unique. Guys come in as freshmen and leave as seniors. You watch their growth and all of the things they go through.

"I saw this as a great opportunity. It's great competition. I know about the West Virginia program. I coached against WVU and played against WVU.

"Plus, it's close to my [Presto, Collier Township] home. I don't have to disrupt my whole life having to move."

Pitt didn't interview Bradley after it fired Dave Wannstedt in December 2010, hiring Miami of Ohio coach Michael Haywood, who was fired after just two weeks because of a domestic-abuse arrest. …

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