As the semester begins, Mercer students arrive back on campus and look to get settled into their new classes and apartments. Along with these Mercer students, men’s golf coach Steve Bradley looks to get ready for his first year as coach for Mercer. The Cluster sat down to ask Coach Bradley a few questions.
Cluster: What is your background?
Bradley: I began my collegiate career at Florida State playing golf before transferring to the University of Florida. I played golf there and finished my undergraduate coursework. I then worked in corporate America for a few years before returning to coach at UF. I was the assistant coach there for three years, learning from one of the best golf coaches in the nation. After those few years, I knew I was ready to coach my own program and accepted the job here at Mercer.
Cluster: What can be some of the challenges encountered when moving from a large school such as UF to a smaller school like MU?
Bradley: One difference between the schools is the academic standards. It is nice to go to a school where students are truly student athletes and consistently excel within their sport and also in the classroom. Another difference is that being a smaller school, Mercer doesn’t always offer several sections of a course that some of the athletes need to take so it becomes harder to schedule practice times and workouts around classes.
Cluster: Why did you choose Mercer?
Bradley: I believe in what the athletic department is doing here, and I felt that they have excellent support not only within the university but also from the community. I also really like the small town/small city aspect for myself and my family. Overall, I felt it was a really good place for me to come and coach.
Cluster: What is your coaching style?
Bradley: I feel like I can relate to the players very well and I am also very organized. I see the long-term goals and I know what we need to do to achieve those goals. I feel like I can earn my players respect, and I have a vested interest in them not only as athletes but also as individuals and people. I want the players to realize that we are very team-oriented and we represent MU and the students here.
Cluster: If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
Bradley: I worked in corporate America in both sales and management before coaching at UF. I found that management is very similar to coaching; you try to help employees grow and improve and watch them develop. If I wasn’t coaching, I’d probably be back in one of those settings. I enjoy being able to watch and help employees grow and develop.
Cluster: If there is one thing that you could let Mercer Students know about the sport of golf or the golf team, what would it be?
Bradley: We are no different than the other students and student athletes, and we’d love to see them come out and support us at the Brickyard, a tournament that has some of the best golf teams in the nation. Throughout this year and the coming years, we will do our best to represent Mercer on the course and within the classroom.
The Mercer men’s golf team kicks of the beginning of their season with the Waterchase Invitational on Sept. 19.