Longtime Penn State assistant Tom Bradley is set to become UCLA’s defensive coordinator according to a report Monday from ESPN.com. The prospect of Bradley’s hiring has been in the news since last week. Bruin Report Online has also reported that defensive quality control Scott White will be promoted to linebackers coach.
Calling Bradley a longtime Penn State assistant is actually a gross understatement. A former Nittany Lions defensive back, Bradley was a member of the Penn State program from 1975 through 2011, ages 18 through 55, as a player, graduate assistant, running backs coach, wide receivers coach, outside linebackers coach, defensive backs coach, special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator, defensive coordinator and, finally, as interim head coach.
Bradley helped Penn State win two national championships, claimed multiple national coordinator of the year awards and guided the Nittany Lions to a composite top 10 ranking from 2004-11. He posted a 1-3 record as Penn State’s interim head coach during Joe Paterno’s tumultuous ouster in Nov. 2011, and spent the 2012-13 seasons out of coaching before serving as West Virginia’s senior associate head coach and defensive line coach last fall.
And now, for the first time in his professional life, Bradley is moving west of State College – all the way to Westwood and Jim Mora’s UCLA Bruins. It’s an interesting choice for both sides.
Bradley joins a UCLA program that is 29-11 in three seasons under Mora – no doubt an upgrade over the previous regime, but still a rung below the Pac-12 and national elite. In replacing Jeff Ulbrich, gone for the Atlanta Falcons linebackers job, Bradley inherits a unit that ranked second in the Pac-12 in yards per play allowed and seventh in scoring defense in 2014. The Bruins return eight starters from last year’s group, but lose impact players Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Jefferson.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.