June 18, 2003
Clemson men’s basketball head coach Oliver Purnell has named Dr. Ron Bradley associate head coach with the Tiger program. Bradley brings 26 years of college coaching experience to Clemson, including 21 years at the Division I level. Most recently, he had served as the associate head coach at James Madison University since March 2002.
Dr. Bradley served as a head coach for 16 years, five at Eastern Nazarene (1976-77 through 1980-81) and 11 at Radford (1991-92 through 2001-02) and compiled a 289-175 combined record at those institutions, a .623 winning percentage. During his 16 years as a head coach, Bradley’s teams posted winning records 15 times, and won 20 or more games six times. In 10 different seasons his teams won at least 18 games.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have Ron Bradley join our staff,” said Purnell, who coached with Bradley at Maryland and Radford. “I have known him since we were assistant coaches together at Maryland. I developed a strong level of respect for Ron as a coach and a person during our times coaching together at Maryland, and then at Radford. He took over for me at Radford and did a great job, taking the program to the NCAAs for the first time in its history.
“He has a doctor’s degree and understands the importance of education. He understands the total program and its mission within the university. Additionally, he has experience coaching in the ACC. He knows what it takes to win in this league. He also has considerable experience as a head coach at the division I level.”
Prior to his season at James Madison, Bradley coached at Radford University in Virginia for 12 seasons, including 11 as the head coach. He succeeded Purnell as the Radford head coach in 1991-92. During his 11 years as head coach, Bradley compiled a 193-124 (.609) record. He won four conference titles, and led the Highlanders to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1997-98. That season, Radford posted a 20-10 overall record, including a 10-2 mark in conference play, along with the Big South Conference Championship.
Bradley guided the 1998-99 team that returned only one starter to a 20-8 record and advanced to the Big South Tournament Championship game. His team won the Big South regular season title in 1999-00 and 2000-01 with identical 12-2 records. In his one season (1990-91) as an assistant at Radford he teamed with Purnell to lead Radford to a 22-7 ledger.
A native of Quincy, MA, Bradley played basketball at Eastern Nazarene under his father, Carroll. He scored 2,649 points and averaged 24.8 points per game during his four-year career. He was a three-time NAIA honorable mention All-America choice. He ranked sixth in the nation in scoring his sophomore year, and 15th as a junior. Following his collegiate career, Bradley was selected by the New York Nets in the American Basketball Association (ABA) draft. He played semi-professional basketball for three seasons before beginning his coaching career at Eastern Nazarene in 1976-77.
During his five seasons with the Crusaders, he accumulated a 96-51 record, and his teams won three conference championships, four district titles and one regional championship. He had two 20-win seasons, including a 20-6 mark in his first year. Twice he was named the Naismith Conference Coach of the Year.
Beginning with the 1981-82 season, Bradley moved on to the University of Maryland, where he served as a volunteer assistant under Lefty Driesell until 1982-83. In 1983-84, he was named an assistant coach for the Terrapins, and remained as Maryland’s top assistant through the 1988-89 season. He served on the Maryland staff with Purnell from 1985-86 through 1987-88. Bradley served as an assistant to the Maryland Director of Athletics during 1989-90.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1974, Bradley completed his master’s degree in physical education from Bridgewater (Mass.) State in 1980. He earned a doctorate in kinesiology from the University of Maryland in 1993.
Bradley is married to the former Denise Smith, and the couple has two children, William and Katlin.
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