Veteran coach takes over the defense as part of coaching staff restructuring
Mike Bradeson returns for the third year of his second tenure in Reno and the veteran coach will step into a new role with the Wolf Pack as the team's defensive coordinator.
This season, Bradeson's ninth overall at Nevada, will not be the first in the role of coordinator for Bradeson. While at Nevada's sister school, UNLV, Bradeson was at the helm of some of the top defenses in Rebel history. During that time, Bradeson coached or recruited eight players who went on to the NFL and three Mountain West defensive players of the year. While the coordinator, the UNLV defense led the conference and was seventh nationally in takeaways in 2003. In 2001, UNLV led the conference in passing defense (189.4 ypg) and was 11th nationally in pass efficiency defense.
Bradeson will remain in charge of the safeties as he has, over the past two seasons, nurtured seniors Duke Williams and Marlon Johnson into honors candidates in their final seasons this year in the Silver & Blue. Williams earned second-team All-Conference honors last year as a junior. In his first year back at Nevada in 2010, Bradeson mentored a blossoming group of safeties led by Johnson and Williams, who combined to start 23 games at the two safety positions. Each was in the top six in tackles on the team in 2010 with a 132 combined stops. Johnson provided one of the biggest highlights of the historic 2010 season with his 65-yard interception return for a touchdown that was a pivotal play in the win over Cal.
When Bradeson came back to Nevada last year, he was coming off 15 seasons at UNLV - the longest tenure of any football coach in that school's history. He coached the secondary throughout his time in Las Vegas and he had a successful five-year run (2000-04) as defensive coordinator under head coach John Robinson.
At UNLV, Bradeson oversaw the development of future NFL DBs Kevin Thomas (Bills), Sam Brandon (Broncos), Eric Wright (Browns) and two-time All-America safety Jamaal Brimmer. Under Bradeson in 2003, the Rebel defense led the Mountain West in takeaways with 35 en route to finishing seventh in the nation in turnover margin. The unit's five TDs were led by Brimmer, who scored twice en route to First Team All-America honors and being named consensus MWC Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. In 2001, the Rebels led the MWC in passing defense by yielding only 189.4 yards per game and ranked 11th nationally in passing efficiency defense as well. In 2000, UNLV surrendered only 21.8 points per game, the 12th-lowest mark in school history and best since 1986.
Bradeson came to the Rebels in 1996 after four years coaching the secondary at the University of California. He spent his first season in Las Vegas working with the team's inside linebackers.
A 1981 graduate of Boise State, Bradeson was a two-year letterman for the Broncos. He helped his team to the 1980 Div. I-AA national championship with a win over Eastern Kentucky in the Camellia Bowl. After serving as a graduate assistant for two years, Bradeson was an assistant coach at his alma mater from 1983-85. From there, he moved to Nevada, where he coached from 1986-91. He coached in the secondary, worked with the special teams and also served as the team's recruiting coordinator while with the Pack.
Bradeson was also a member of the 2004 East-West Shrine Game coaching staff.
The File on Mike Bradeson
Born: May 2, 1959 Hometown: Berkeley, Calif. Family: Wife - April, Son - Drew Education Bachelor's, Business Management, Boise State, 1981 Coaching Experience 2012: Defensive Coordinator/Safeties, Nevada 2010-11: Safeties, Nevada 2007-2009: Special Teams Coordinator/cornerbacks, UNLV 2005-06: Defensive Backs, UNLV 2000-04: Defensive Coordinator/Secondary, UNLV 1996-99: Recruiting Coordinator/Secondary, UNLV 1992-95: Secondary, Cal 1986-91: Recruiting Coordinator/Secondary and Special Teams, Nevada 1983-85: Secondary/Running Backs, Boise State 1981-82: Graduate Assistant, Boise State Playing Experience Boise State: Two-year letterman as a defensive back (1979-80) Contra Costa College: Two-year letterman as a quarterback (1977-78)