STATE COLLEGE —
Make no mistake about it, Tom Bradley wanted to be the head coach at Penn State one day.
Just not this way.
A somber Bradley sat in the Beaver Stadium media room on Thursday afternoon and talked about taking over for former coach Joe Paterno, who was fired by Penn State’s Board of Trustees late Wednesday night. Bradley, a Johnstown native, was named interim coach by interim Athletic Director Mark Sherburne. Following a short introduction, Bradley took the microphone and was immediately hit with some extremely difficult questions.
And while he couldn’t talk about the specifics regarding the child sex abuse case involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, he answered what he could.
One of the first things Bradley talked about were the victims of the alleged abuse.
“I grieve for the victims and the families. I’m deeply saddened by the events and I express that with great emotion,” Bradley said. “We’ll get working on the football aspect right away, but everyone should know where our team is with this entire issue. We’re with the children and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Quite frankly, that meant a great deal. At a time when the entire Penn State community is hurting, Bradley stepped up and talked about the children and families whose lives have been changed forever.
It’s clear that Bradley takes over with a heavy heart. Paterno was his coach, his mentor, his friend. The new coach became a bit emotional when he talked about the old coach.
“Coach Paterno has meant more to me than anyone except my father,” Bradley said, his voice beginning to crack. “I do not want to get emotional and start talking about that.”
Bradley, a Bishop McCort High School graduate, has worked hard to get where he is.
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