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Gus Bradley’s Lessons from the NFL

Casey “Gus” Bradley is the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team. But did you know he was a Bison? It’s true. Bradley played safety for the Bison from 1984-88. He also had two coaching stints at NDSU in 1990-91 and 1996-2005. He was even in the running for the head-coaching job in 2003, but the position was given Craig Bohl. Bradley returned to Fargo in April to speak to hundreds of Bison fans about building a culture. Check out these cool footnotes from his presentation.

Coaching Timeline

Bradley has been a coach for 25 years. Here’s a list of the places and positions he’s had:

 
  • 1990-91 – North Dakota State, Graduate Assistant
  • 1992-95 – Fort Lewis College (Colorado), Linebackers Coach, Defensive Coordinator
  • 1996-2005 – North Dakota State, Defensive Coordinator
  • 2006-08 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Defense Quality Control, Linebackers Coach
  • 2009-12 – Seattle Seahawks, Defensive Coordinator
  • 2013-Present – Jacksonville Jaguars, Head Coach

Gus BradleyPersonal Philosophy

During your athletic journey, it’s important to have a personal philosophy to help you stay grounded in your values, no matter your position. Here’s Bradley’s personal philosophy he’s been following for over 20 years:

“Possess a genuine appreciation for the contribution and commitment everyone makes, for together, we shall get it done together.”

Possessing Humility

The more success you find as an athlete, the more important it becomes for you to have humility. This doesn’t mean putting yourself down after a great performance it means to have an appreciation for those around you that help you create your success.

This is what former Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks told Gus Bradley after Bradley’s defense shutout St. Louis 28-0 in his first game as a defensive coordinator:

“Be allergic to the big meal, go home and eat crumbs.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 4.08.24 PMDefining Servant Leadership

Here’s how coach Bradley defines being a servant leader: Help everyone around you become the best they can possibly be, without having a personal agenda for your own success. Individual success is never the goal, there’s only team success.

Treat Prosperity and Adversity Equally

You will never be successful all the time and you will never fail all the time, thus, it is important to treat success and failures the right way through these three steps:

  • Tell the truth
  • Learn from it
  • Grow and move forward

What has Bradley learned coaching for 25 years?

  • Respect the history of the game
  • Family over football
  • Honor and support the people with more power than you
  • Always, always, always have a good attitude
  • Hold players accountable for their actions
  • Swallow pride and listen to rookies as much as veterans
  • Keys to being a head coach: Honesty, Courage, and Integrity

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