Bradley aims to help team

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When a troubled student athlete ran across Maurice Bradley’s radar, the new Escambia County offensive coordinator knew he had to take action.

The student was at Pensacola (Fla.) High School, where Bradley coached last year.

Bradley took the student athlete under his wing, made sure he was at school and provided support.

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Being able to help a struggling student athlete is the best part about his job.

“He just left a month ago and went to college,” Bradley said about the student. “He’s at an independent school in Kansas. Before I got to PHS, they were saying he was a troubled kid. He didn’t go to school and missed school a lot.”

Bradley said over time, the student started realizing he needed to go to school.

“Gradually, he started getting it and realized that we were helping him for a reason,” he said. “He actually said that he wasn’t going to be able to go to college. That kid got it together and had a chance to go to school and have a scholarship to play football.”

Being able to impact others as a coach and seeing players grow up to be men is the best part of coaching, Bradley said.

Before coming to ECHS, Bradley was the wide receivers coach at PHS. He previously coached at Hillcrest High School in Evergreen.

Bradley said he’s been playing football all of his life. He went to Troy University, grey shirted, left and went to East Mississippi at Last Chance U. He was at the Mississippi school before Netflix’s “Last Chance U” was popular.

Bradley said the coach at EM, Buddy Stephens, was strict, but is a great coach.

“He’s a great guy and a father figure,” he said.

In the spring of 2011, Bradley graduated from Troy and did some student coaching as well. Then, he went to A.H. Parker High School for a stint.

Bradley said he’s always known he wanted to be a coach.

“When I was in college, every summer I came home,” he said. “I had eight nephews that went through my program.”

Having an impact on student-athletes is what he cherishes the most about being a coach, Bradley said.

Bradley said the players have been working hard this summer, and have been receptive.

“This season, I believe we’ll step up,” he said. “I think Escambia County High School will get over the hump. I remember back in 2005, Escambia actually knocked me out of getting into the playoffs when I was at Hillcrest.”

Bradley has two children, S’mya Bradley, 8, and K’mauri Bradley, 5; and a girlfriend, Shernicka Rankins.