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Division II school picks former player as head coach

Atiba Bradley is now the head coach at Missouri Southern, the school announced Friday morning.

"I'm extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to lead this football program," said Bradley, the first alum to take the reins of MSSU's program. "This is a position that is near and dear to my heart, a coveted position that returns me home and keeps me home for the future."

Bradley arrives from McKendree (D-II - IL), where he was the defensive coordinator. He previously spent seven seasons as a co-defensive coordinator at Western Illinois and South Dakota.

The Joplin, Mo., native was a two-time all-conference player for Missouri Southern, then became a student assistant and graduate assistant for the Lions. He left to spend three seasons as a GA under Gary Pinkel at Mizzou, then returned in 2010 as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

"Coach Bradley will bring strong and diverse experience at the DII and FCS levels. In addition to his outstanding experience and leadership skills, I was very impressed with his energy and his plan to build a highly competitive program that includes a commitment to the development of the student-athlete that emphasizes academic success. As a MSSU graduate and former Lion football player and coach, Abita has a unique perspective on how to build a program at our university that is successful and sustainable. It is clear that this is where Coach Bradley wants to be."

Bradley inherits a program that went 2-9 in 2019. After taking 2020 off, Missouri Southern begins its 2021 campaign Sept. 2 at Nebraska-Kearney.

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