A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we have our second coach of the countdown.
Todd Bradford, Defensive Backs Coach, Defensive Coordinator
Date of Birth: 10/14/1950
Hometown: Newark, Del.
College: Southern Utah
How’d He Get To College Park?
Bradford began his coaching career at Southern Utah, his alma mater, in 1987 as a defensive backs coach and the recruiting/special teams coordinator. After one year there, he spent six years as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at New Hampshire. In 1994, he was hired as the defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator of Lehigh, and helped lead the Engineers to a conference championship game appearance, putting together the league’s second-best defense.
From 1995-96 he was the defensive backs coach at Eastern Michigan – during that time that defense broke over 40 school records. From 1997-99, he was the defensive backs coach at Louisiana Tech, serving as the defensive coordinator under current Maryland offensive coordinator Gary Crowton (the Bulldogs’ head coach at the time) for the last two years of his tenure there (the team was a combined 15-8 in those two years).
More after the jump.
Bradford was the defensive backs coach at Wisconsin from 2000-01, where his star pupil was Jamar Fletcher. Fletcher led the Big Ten in interceptions, won the 2000 Thorpe Award, and was picked in the first round of the 2001 draft. After a two year stint with Middle Tennessee State, he was hired as a co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for Crowton’s BYU team, where he coached Todd Watkins and Austin Collie. Your guess is as good as mine as to why he switched to offense so suddenly.
Bradford was then the linebackers coach at Oklahoma State for three years before serving as the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Southern Miss the past three years. In the 2006 class (the earliest Rivals’ great database goes back to), Bradford brought in three recruits from Texas to Stillwater, one four-star defensive end (Ugo Chinasa), and two three-star players (defensive back Deron Fontenot and linebacker Justin Gent). In 2007 he found a lot more success, bringing in a total of seven players, including four-star defensive tackle Tonga Tea.
In the 2008 class, his first with Southern Miss, Bradford apparently brought in no recruits, only targeting one (two-star offensive lineman Brandon Garrett). He brought in two the next year, a three-star linebacker (Will Martin) and a two-star offensive lineman (Nathaniel Worrell), but that was out of eleven targets. In 2010 he brought in three three-star players out of 14 targets, and he didn’t have enough time at Maryland to bring in any 2011 players.
In terms of recruiting, he didn’t do so hot at Southern Miss, but we’ll give him a pass because, hey, it’s Southern Miss. His defenses, however, were also below par. The Eagles gave up over 240 yards per game in the air last year, and allowed four teams to score at least 40 points. He did have a reasonable amount of success at his pre-Southern Miss schools, I will give him that.
The coordinator previously known as Stache.
Having the Stache.
Shaving the Stache.
Arbitrary Top Five List:
Football players from the University of Delaware (in Newark, Del.):
1. Rich Gannon
2. Joe Flacco
3. Ben Patrick
4. Pat Devlin
5. Mike Adams
Bradford picks up where Don Brown leaves off, turning Kenny Tate into an All-ACC linebacker, putting pressure on opposing defenses, and help Maryland’s dream run to the ACC Championship game.
The players struggle to learn the new system, Maryland puts up Southern-Miss like numbers on defense, and Kenny Tate falls out of the first round.
For a new coordinator coming into a job, Todd Bradford has a whole ton of pieces to work with. He’s got two of the best interior linemen in the conference in Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis (assuming he gets his head on straight and finally names Francis a starter), two defensive ends with a ton of talent in David Mackall and Isaiah Ross, two potential All-ACC players at linebacker in Kenny Tate and Demetrius Hartsfield with another huge talent in Darin Drakeford, and a secondary mixed with experience (Cameron Chism and Trenton Hughes) and talent (Eric Franklin, Dexter McDougle, Matt Robinson and Avery Graham). We don’t know much about Bradford’s defenses, except that they did well on third downs, caused a lot of turnovers, and were susceptible to long pass plays. Luckily, Maryland’s got an athletic enough secondary to combat that last issue, and a unit that is used to pressing the ball and causing turnovers.
Bradford also has a very large recruiting area, covering Northern New Jersey, most of New York, most of Northern Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. He has ties in Texas and Oklahoma already, and Jersey and Virginia are two of the most important states for Maryland to recruit after, well, Maryland. If he can find some of the success he had at Oklahoma State with recruiting at Maryland, he might be able to stay at this job for more than three years (something he hasn’t done since 1988-93 with New Hampshire).
Next, we’ll cover another group of walk-ons and transfers.