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Former Penn State DC, Interim HC Tom Bradley to Perform Coin Toss for WVU Game

Steelers Penn State Tom Bradley
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, May 22, 2019. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Tom Bradley, who played at Penn State in the 1970s before embarking on a 30+ year coaching journey with his alma mater, will perform the ceremonial coin toss ahead of Saturday’s home opener against West Virginia, Penn State AD Pat Kraft announced Sunday.

Kraft made this announcement on Nittany Game Week, which Bradley co-hosts with Jay Paterno.

Bradley, nicknamed “Scrap”, played defensive back for Penn State and was part of the 1978 team that came one win away from winning what would have been the school’s first national championship.

He ended up being on the coaching staff of both Penn State’s title teams. He was the special teams and receivers coach on the 1982 team that beat Herschel Walker and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Four years later, Bradley was the outside linebackers and special teams coach on the 1986 team that shocked No. 1 Miami in the Fiesta Bowl in what many see as the greatest night in Penn State history. Bradley stayed in that role until the 1996 season when he became the defensive backs coach, a role he held for four seasons.

Ahead of the new millennium, Bradley became Penn State’s defensive coordinator and stayed in that role for the rest of his time at the school. In November 2011, Bradley suddenly became the school’s interim coach after Joe Paterno’s dismissal amid the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Bradley was Penn State’s boss for four games, going 1-3.

That one win happened to be at Ohio State, and Penn State hasn’t won in Columbus in the 12+ years since.

After the 2011 season, Bill O’Brien became Penn State’s coach and Bradley didn’t stay on staff. He returned to college coaching in 2014 at, ironically, West Virginia, where he was the associate head coach and defensive line coach for a season. After that, he became UCLA’s DC for three seasons and most recently coached in the NFL, where he was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive backs coach from 2018-2020.

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