TRINITY – Bear Bradley is taking a job as a football head coach at a school in Randolph County.
Even though it’s a different stop than in a previous role, he said it feels like a return to a comfort zone.
Bradley has become the football coach at Trinity, leaving a similar position at Southern Guilford.
“The more I got thinking about it, I think it was one of those things, I already had some of those relationships,” Bradley said. “To be back in Randolph County, and people you’ve known. There’s a family atmosphere and you’re welcomed.”
Bradley spent four seasons (2013-16) as head coach at rival Wheatmore. So he said he’ll be familiar with many of the families who will have players on his first Trinity squad.
Bradley, 44, compiled a six-season record of 24-38 at Southern Guilford, a Class 3-A team. The Storm went 6-5 overall last season, finishing third in the Mid-State 3-A Conference behind Greensboro Dudley and Eastern Guilford.
Bradley replaces Marlon Morris, who stepped away after three seasons and a 9-16 record. The Bulldogs have posted back-to-back 4-6 records, with seven of those victories coming in non-conference games.
So becoming more competitive in the Piedmont Athletic Conference is among the objectives.
Bradley coached from 2013-16 at Wheatmore with a 14-31 record. Previously, he spent time as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Smoky Mountain, and at Randleman.
Bradley had two sons playing for his Southern Guilford teams. Malachi Bradley, a center, will graduate this spring, while quarterback / linebacker Noah Bradley will join him at Trinity and be a junior on the 2023 team.
Coach Bradley said he’ll embrace the culture at Trinity.
“It’s a very appealing situation,” he said. “They’re more than ready and know what it takes to compete. They were always scrappy, blue-collar kind of people.”
Even though his new school will be a neighboring one from his role at Wheatmore, he considers this a chance “to come back to a place with business left unfinished.”
Clashing with traditional powers such as Greensboro Dudley and Southeast Guilford should prove beneficial, Bradley said.
“As a coach, you learned and grew,” he said. “It really challenges your knowledge of the game and pushes you to expand what you do.”
Bear Bradley will finish the school year as a teacher at Southern Guilford, where he instructs weightlifting. He said he’ll make the approximate 14-mile commute in afternoons to address topics with the football program at Trinity.