Former UF, Ocala standout Bradley to lead USF golf
Former University of Florida golf captain Steven Bradley, who helped lead the Gators to the 1999 SEC title, as been named men's coach at USF, the Bulls announced Friday.
An Ocala Forest graduate who helped lead the Wildcats to the Class 5A state title in 1994, Bradley replaces Chris Malloy, who stepped down after four seasons to become coach at Ole Miss, his alma mater.
"I was born in Bradenton and went to high school in Ocala, so I'm a Florida boy," said Bradley, who has spent the past three seasons as coach at Mercer.
"For me to be able to get back to Florida is very exciting. It's really perfect timing and combined with the athletic department, being in Florida and in a great area, the USF job is just a home run."
At Mercer, Bradley guided the Bears to the program's first Atlantic Sun Conference tournament crown and first NCAA team postseason berth. In each of Bradley's three years, Mercer rose in the Golfweek/Sagarin College team rankings.
Prior to that, he spent three seasons as an assistant to UF coach Buddy Alexander, helping direct the Gators to three NCAA Championships berths.
"He has tremendous roots in the state of Florida and a record of building a program capable of competing against anyone in the country," USF athletic director Mark Harlan said in a news release. "Our golf program is on the rise, and Steven is the right coach to take it to even greater heights."
A 1999 UF graduate, Bradley placed third in the 1998 NCAA East Regional as a junior. He played his first two collegiate seasons at FSU, winning the 1996 Florida State Amateur.
He inherits a team that has reached consecutive NCAA regionals and won the final Big East tournament, in 2013. Four of the Bulls' top five finishers at May's NCAA San Antonio Regional are slated to return, including third-team Ping All-American Chase Koepka.
"The team has had a lot of success and I told them they had accomplished a lot, but I look forward to helping them accomplish even more," Bradley said. "I feel like their goals and expectations and mine align perfectly."