RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada has hired veteran coach Mike Bradeson to lead the Wolf Pack’s secondary, head coach Chris Ault announced today.
This will mark Bradeson’s second tenure in Reno, having coached under Ault from 1986-1991. Bradeson has also worked at Boise State and Cal and he spent the past 15 seasons at UNLV as the longest tenured coach in Rebel history.
“Just like Andy Buh, Mike knows the Nevada way,” Ault said. “With his deep experience, he will give Andy all the support he needs from the secondary. He is a well-rounded defensive backs coach because of his vast experience as a defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator.”
While at UNLV, Bradeson spent 15 years coaching in the secondary, including five seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator. He coached or recruited eight players who went on to the NFL and three players who were named the MWC Defensive Player of the Year. Bradeson’s last year as defensive coordinator was 2004, which was the last year that UNLV beat Nevada.
“I am thrilled to have Mike Bradeson here and he is going to be a great addition to our staff,” said Buh, who was introduced as Nevada’s defensive coordinator on Thursday. “His presence here eases my mind on our secondary and allows me to fully take control of this defense.”
Bradeson, who played and began his coaching career at Boise State, came to Nevada in 1986. He served for six seasons with the Wolf Pack, coaching the secondary and special teams and also serving as a recruiting coordinator. He coached or recruited a trio of Wolf Pack players who went on to the NFL in Forey Duckett, Brock Marion and Bernard Ellison. During Bradeson’s six seasons in Reno, the Wolf Pack went 57-18.
“It gives me great pleasure to come back to a program that Coach Ault has built with a great winning tradition and I hope to add to that legacy,” Bradeson said. “Whenever you come to a new job, there is a lot of excitement. But even more so with me here because I have a lot of familiarity with the town and the campus and especially this football program.”
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. 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 in pass efficiency defense.
Bradeson went to UNLV in 1996 after four years coaching the secondary at the University of California. He coached a pair of NFL players in Jerod Cherry and Issac Booth while with the Golden Bears.
Bradeson is a Bay Area native who played at Pinole Valley High School and Contra Costa College (1977-78) before moving on to play at Boise State. He graduated in 1981 with a degree in business management.
He and wife April were married in 2005 and the couple has a son, Drew.
Mike Bradeson’s Coaching Career
2007-09 UNLV Special Teams Coordinator, Cornerbacks
2005-06 UNLV Defensive Backs
2000-04 UNLV Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
1996-99 UNLV Secondary, Recruiting Coordinator, Linebackers
1992-95 California Secondary
1986-91 Nevada Secondary, Special Teams, Recruiting Coordinator
1983-85 Boise State Secondary, Running Backs
1981-82 Boise State Graduate Assistant
Mike Bradeson’s Playing Experience
1979-80 Boise State Defensive Back
1977-78 Contra Costa Col. Quarterback