Last week it was reported UCLA was moving forward with hiring West Virginia assistant Tom Bradley to fill the vacancy on the coaching staff at defensive coordinator. It looks as though we are one giant step closer to that becoming official.
ESPN.com Pac-12 reporter Kevin Gemmell reported Monday (via Twitter) Bradley has been hired by UCLA, and an official introduction could come as early as Tuesday. There was no timetable given for the official announcement, although Bradley reportedly will be on UCLA’s campus on Tuesday so that would seem to make the most sense.
Bradley spent the majority of his coaching career as an assistant at Penn State under former head coach Joe Paterno. When Paterno was dismissed of his duties in November 2011 following the release of grand jury testimony focusing on Jerry Sandusky, another longtime Paterno assistant, Bradley was named the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011 season. Bradley interviewed for the full-time job but was passed over in favor of Bill O’Brien in January 2012. Bradley spent time doing TV work before returning to the sidelines last year with West Virginia.
UCLA is gaining one of the more respected defensive coaches in the country, and he should have a positive impact on the level of play of UCLA’s defense once he gets situated. Bradley’s defenses tend to be steady and limit scoring opportunities for opponents, but at times Bradley’s defense plays with a bend-but-don’t-break approach. With the talent pool he may have to work with at UCLA, the Bruins should become one of the top defensive programs under Bradley’s watch.
Bradley will be stepping outside of his natural habitat, but the change of scenery should not have a huge impact on his abilities at UCLA. Bradley spent years establishing solid recruiting connections in western Pennsylvania and nearby recruiting grounds while at Penn State, which is something West Virginia had hoped to take advantage of. It could take some time to make those same kinds of connections in California, but there is plenty of talent to start scouting and recruiting. Bradley should be just fine in that area.