Jaguars’ organization fights fire with fire

Sports

Jaguars’ organization fights fire with fire

New fiery GM signs new fiery head coach: Gus Bradley
“He’s got a brilliant football mind,” Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll said this week of new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. “He’s got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, coaches and players alike. He’s got everything that you’re looking for.”
Bradley: From FLC to NFL head coach

Fort Lewis College football’s imprint on the professional level just took a big step up in prominence Thursday.

One of its own now is an NFL head coach.

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Casey “Gus” Bradley was named the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But back in the 1990s, Bradley spent his days in Durango, serving as a defensive coordinator at FLC. He was a member of the Skyhawks’ coaching staff from 1992 to 1995, working under Kevin Donnalley and Dave Preszler. He was named Preszler’s replacement as the program’s head coach in the offseason between the 1995 and 1996 seasons, serving in that capacity for four months before stepping down for family medical reasons. He then took a job at North Dakota State to be closer to his father, who was battling cancer at the time.

“Gus was a player’s coach extraordinaire,” former FLC quarterback and Fort Lewis Hall of Fame member Thad Trujillo said in a news release. “He was highly motivating, and all the players loved him.”

Preszler, now the athletic director at Bayfield High School, said he wasn’t surprised to hear the news of Bradley’s hire, adding that he’s proud of what his former assistant has achieved in such a short time.

“It was just a matter of time,” Preszler said. “That was going to be Gus.”

Bradley started his rise to football prominence after playing four years and winning a Division II national championship in 1988 as a free safety at North Dakota State.

After two stints at his alma mater and the stop at FLC, Bradley jumped to the NFL as a defensive quality control coach with Tampa Bay in 2006 before being promoted to linebackers coach the next year, serving in that capacity for two seasons. He joined Seattle as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 2009.

“Excited, certainly for Casey and his family, excited for all the players who’ve been lucky enough to play for Casey,” Preszler said of the hire. “I was excited and certainly proud.”

Bradley becomes just the second former Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference head coach to assume that same job with an NFL team. The other was Dutch Clark, who coached the Portsmouth Spartans – now the Detroit Lions – in 1937 as a player-coach and the Cleveland Rams from 1939 to 1943. Clark coached Colorado Mines in 1933, and he is a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



heraldsports@ durangoherald.com

Jaguars’ organization fights fire with fire

“He’s got a brilliant football mind,” Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll said this week of new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. “He’s got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, coaches and players alike. He’s got everything that you’re looking for.”
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