USF hires Bradley as men's golf coach

Steve Bradley, left, hired Friday as the USF Bulls men's golf head coach, congratulates Billy Horschel on his SEC Championship when Bradley was an assistant at Florida.

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Two weeks after Chris Malloy announced he was leaving South Florida to take the head coaching job at Ole Miss, the Bulls golf program has a new leader. Mercer head coach Steve Bradley was named head golf coach Friday.

Bradley spent three seasons at Mercer, where the Bears made big strides. The year before Bradley’s arrival, Mercer was ranked No. 103 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Last season, Mercer ranked No. 32 at season's end.

Bradley guided the Mercer program to an Atlantic Sun Conference title and the school’s first appearance in postseason play. The Bears placed eighth at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.

“We are very excited to welcome Steven Bradley to the USF family and to have him leading our men’s golf program,” University of South Florida Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “He has tremendous roots in the state of Florida and a record of building a program capable of competing against anyone in the country. Our golf program is on the rise, and Steven is the right coach to take it to even greater heights.”

Bradley played college golf at the University of Florida after spending two years on the team at Florida State. The Ocala, Fla., native spent three years in Gainesville as an assistant coach under Buddy Alexander. Bradley won the 1996 Florida State Amateur title.

Bradley takes over a promising Bulls team that finished the year ranked No. 33. The top four players from this past year return next season led by Golfweek third team All-American Chase Koepka.

"The team has had a lot of success and I told them they had accomplished a lot, but I look forward to helping them accomplish even more,” Bradley said. “I feel like their goals and expectations and mine align perfectly. There is a lot of talent and youth on the team, and I am really looking forward to the chance to work with them.”

Bradley is excited to return to the Sunshine state.

“I was born in Bradenton and went to high school in Ocala, so I’m a Florida boy. For me to be able to get back to Florida is very exciting. It’s really perfect timing and combined with the athletic department, being in Florida and in a great area, the USF job is just a home run.”

Next spring the University of South Florida will host 2015 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships. The tournaments will be played at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.

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