Baseball Coach Greg Bradley To Retire Following 2014 Season
The longtime coach will end his career after next season as he battles the early onset of Parkinson's Disease.
FOREST GROVE – The longest tenured baseball coach in the Northwest Conference and one of two 300-game winning coaches in Pacific baseball history will make the 2014 season his last.
Greg Bradley announced last week that he will retire from coaching after the 2014 campaign. The move is necessitated by the advancement of Parkinson's Disease. Bradley was diagnosed with the disorder four years ago and the progression of the disease has made some of its outward signs more visible in recent months.
“The support of my family and my coaching staff have helped me make some adjustments that have been necessary for me to continue coaching this year,” Bradley said. “Despite the progression of the disease, I believe that with the continual support of those at Pacific and my family that I can continue to coach for one more year. It was important to me to let my players know first what my decision was and what the circumstances are. I am looking forward to my last year as head coach at Pacific.”
Currently the longest tenured coach in the Pacific University athletic department and in Northwest Conference baseball, Bradley, 60, won his 300th game this last spring with a 19-3 blowout of Lewis & Clark on Mar. 16. Despite the departure of two starting pitchers and most of his starting outfield from the 2012 season, Bradley led the Boxers to a 17-23 record and a fourth place finish in the NWC standings. He will enter his 19th campaign as head coach with a 310-362-2 overall record.
While stepping aside as head baseball coach, Bradley said he hopes to remain involved with the program as long as he can to continue working with his son, Donnie, who is entering his junior season with the Boxers as a starting infielder. He will also continue his duties as the university's athletic facilities manager.
“Greg has built the Pacific baseball program to a high level of excellence and continues to provide great support to our other athletic programs as our facilities manager,” said Pacific Director of Athletics Ken Schumann. “We all give Greg our unconditional support as he moves into this transition period and wish him nothing but the best in his final season on the diamond. Greg has been, and continues to be, a key member of our athletic staff.”
Bradley hopes that the way he has managed his struggle with Parkinson's will be an inspiration to his athletes and to others. “I tell my players all of the time that adversity is part of the game of baseball and of life. You can't pick where or when it will occur, but you do have control over your response,” Bradley said. “I hope to respond to this in a way that will be a good example for all of my players.”
Bradley has built the Pacific baseball program to a level of success not seen in over three decades. Under his leadership, the Boxers have won 20 or more wins six times over the last decades and have finished fifth or better in the NWC standings in six of the last eight years. The success reached its pinnacle in 2012 when Pacific shared the NWC championship, the program's first since 1979.
Over 50 of Bradley's players have been named to All-NWC squads, with a total of 24 first team selections, and nine players have been tabbed for all-west region squads by the American Baseball Coaches Association or D3Baseball.com over the last nine years. He has also seen three players receive Rawlings All-West Region Gold Glove awards, has had players named as NWC Player of the Year (Kevin Roth in 2002) and Pitcher of the Year (Rob Dittrick in 2011) and one named a CoSIDA Academic All-American (Ryan Joy in 2003).
Bradley began work with the Pacific baseball program in 1993, working two seasons under Hall of Fame coach Chuck Bafaro after a successful high school coaching career at Sunset High School. Bradley took over as head coach prior to the 1996 season. He retired as a physical education teacher at Sunset in 2010 to assume duties as Pacific's athletic facilities manager.
A native of Pasadena, Calif., Bradley and his wife, Brooke, reside in Beaverton. He is the father of four children, Kyle, who played two years under his father at Pacific, Ryan, Megan and Donnie.
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