Tom Bradley
File:Bradley Tom 11-MS0638.jpg
Biographical details
BornJohnstown, Pennsylvania
Alma materPenn State University
Playing career
1975-1978Penn State
Position(s)Defensive Back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1979-1981 & 1996-1999
Penn State (GA)
Penn State (RB)
Penn State (WR)
Penn State (OLB/ST)
Penn State (DB)
Penn State (DC/DB)
Penn State (interim HC)
Head coaching record

Thomas Mark Bradley is an American football coach and former collegiate football player. A longtime member of the Penn State coaching staff, Bradley served in a variety of roles for the program during a stellar career that spanned more than three decades. A defensive back for Joe Paterno in the late seventies, Bradley graduated from Penn State in 1979 and immediately began his foray into coaching. As a player Bradley played in some of Penn State’s greatest bowl games, including the 1975 and 1979 Sugar Bowls as well as the 1977 Fiesta Bowl. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration and immediately began coaching as a Graduate Assistant with Penn State, completing his Master's in Sports Administration in 1982.[1] Bradley most recently served as the interim head football coach at Pennsylvania State University after Joe Paterno was dismissed after 46 seasons as head coach. Bradley left the Penn State program in 2012. He most recently launched his personal website,, via Twitter in June 2012. Bradley is an active user on Twitter, operating under the handle @TomScrapBradley.

Bradley became a full-time staff member in 1980. Soon thereafter, the traits that had made him a Special Teams captain manifested themselves in his coaching abilities. Known to be the 1st person into the office and the last to leave, Bradley built a reputation as an individual who worked tremendously hard. The product showed on the field.

Bradley was named Penn State’s Defensive Coordinator in 2000 and his defenses quickly became known for their creativity and “bend-don’t-break” style. For much of the early 2000s Penn State’s defenses were at the mercy of an anemic offense on the other side of the ball. However, they continued to exhibit great talent and produced outstanding results.

From 2004 to 2011 Penn State’s Defense ranked 3rd in the nation in Scoring Defense (16.4 ppf) and was 5th in Total Defense (298.7ypg). In 2009, the Nittany Lions ranked in the Top 15 nationally in the six primary defensive categories. Additionally, from 2004 to 2009 Penn State finished in the Top 15 in Total and Scoring Defense.

A telling stat is that from 2004 through most of the 2011 season, Penn State held 53 of its 88 opponents to 17 points or fewer. 10 of those 53 came in Penn State’s illustrious 2009 campaign. Bradley has been recognized for his defense’s outstanding performances. He was named the Associated Press Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2005 and was named Rivals.Com Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2008. Additionally had Bradley ranked as the 2nd best Defensive Coordinator in the nation before he was named interim head coach in 2011.

Coaching careerEdit

After graduating from Penn State in 1978, he was named a graduate assistant for the 1979 season. He became a full-time assistant midway through the 1979 season. Over the next 20 years, he coached the running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs and special teams. After the retirement of longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in 1999, Bradley was named his successor. In addition to his role with the defense at Penn State, Bradley has been a highly successful recruiter for the Nittany Lions. Bradley served as a lead recruiter for Nittany Lions such as Shane Conlan, Lavar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee, Brandon Short, and Justin King. Bradley has coached many All-American and all Big Ten standouts including Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, Devon Still, and Shane Conlan, David Macklin.[2] Bradley was a part of 33 Bowl Games at Penn State.

Bradley and Galen Hall served as "co-head coaches" for part of the 2006 season when Paterno was out with an injury sustained during a game at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Hall remained in his usual place in the press box while Bradley coached from the sidelines.

Bradley remained loyal to Penn State and Paterno, and it was widely rumored that Paterno was grooming him as a successor. Bradley's feelings about coaching at Penn State or another school have been quoted, "there's a lot of loyalty that has been built up over the years. There's a family atmosphere between the staff, the players, and the community. It's a place that means a lot to my family. I don't want to go be a head coach just to say I've been a head coach. That's never been part of it. If I find something better, I'll go. But I haven't found it. It's that simple."[3]

In January, 2011, Bradley was reported to have been interviewed as a candidate for the head coaching openings at the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University, but Bradley ultimately remained on Penn State's staff for 2011.[4] On November 9, 2011, Bradley was named Penn State's interim head coach after the university's board of trustees fired Paterno. He coached Penn State for the final four games of the season, including the 2012 TicketCity Bowl.

On January 7, 2012, Bradley resigned from the Penn State coaching staff after not being named head coach. He had spent the first 37 years of his adult life at Penn State as a player, graduate assistant and full-time assistant.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Bradley is the second-oldest of seven children. He graduated from Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, PA in 1974, where he played basketball and football. Tom was a three-year letterman in football and a captain his senior year.[6] His father, Sam, played basketball for the University of Pittsburgh.[7] His older brother Jim was a captain and standout linebacker at Penn State from 1973 to 1974, played for the Cincinnati Bengals, and is the long-time team surgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His younger brother Matt played for the Nittany Lions from 1979 to 1981. Bradley's nephew, Jim Kanuch, also played receiver at Penn State.His two sisters Patty and Cassy were outstanding All-American track athletes at Villanova[8]

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]

On January 31, 2010, Bradley participated in a volunteer Humanitarian aid flight for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[9] The 18-hour flight from Pittsburgh to Port-au-Prince carried physicians and 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of supplies into Haiti and returned with a 16-year-old boy with bone cancer for treatment in Pittsburgh.[9] Former Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan was also among the volunteers involved.[9] Bradley also served as the honorary chair of the Special Olympics in 2006 and is a member of the Cambria County Hall of Fame.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten Conference) (2011–present)
2011 Penn State 1–3[n 1] 1–2[n 1] Lost Ticket City Bowl
Penn State: 1–3 1–2
Total: 1–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.



External linksEdit

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