West Virginia football head coach Dana Holgorsen made the right decision to add former Penn State assistant Tom Bradley to his coaching staff. Bradley brings his 33 years of experience to Morgantown.
Other than the stigma that lingers because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, there is no reason why this isn’t a great hire for West Virginia.
Bradley spent 2000-11 as the defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions. Bradley has coached just about every position on the defensive side of the ball, too. He’s coached defensive ends, linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks.
In State College, Bradley sent Penn State standouts like Lavar Arrington, Sean Lee and Paul Posluszny into the NFL.
The experience Bradley brings will only help WVU first-year defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. Holgorsen hiring Bradley as an overseer and tutor to Gibson is maybe the best addition to the staff Holgorsen has made since taking over in the summer of 2011.
And the fit between Bradley and Gibson is natural.
Bradley has already successfully made all the adjustments that Gibson will have to make this season going from position coach to coordinator while changing the position group that he coaches.
Most importantly, Bradley knows how to face adversity as the interim head coach in Happy Valley for four games following the loss of Joe Paterno.
On the field WVU will benefit from Bradley, but the recruiting trail is where he can make the biggest impact.
Coming to Morgantown allows Bradley to be able to recruit in his own backyard of Pennsylvania. That gives Holgorsen two great recruiters in the Keystone State with Bradley and Gibson.
The former Penn State assistant was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com in 2010 while recruiting star players in-state. Gibson just landed four-star cornerback Dravon Henry, arguably the most sought after player in the western part of the state.
Gibson has great relationships with high school coaches in western Pennsylvania, and Bradley is respected by coaches across the state after working at its landmark institution for his entire career.
With neighboring Big Ten Coaches, James Franklin at Penn State and Urban Meyer at Ohio State trying to land top players in Pennsylvania, luring players to Morgantown will not be easy.
Having Gibson and Bradley work hand-in-hand on and off the field to combat opposing defenses and recruiting powers is sharp thinking by Holgorsen.