Men’s Soccer Coaching Icon Gordon Bradley Dies

Posted: May 2, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Gordon Bradley
Gordon Bradley
Mason Athletics photo

Gordon Bradley, the most successful men’s soccer coach in Mason history and the man who led the Patriots to six NCAA Tournament appearances, died on Tuesday, April 29, in Manassas, Va. He was 74 years old. Bradley suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years.

The Bradley family has announced that they will celebrate his life at a public memorial service at George Mason Stadium on Friday, May 9, at 1 p.m. Seating will be in the stands at the stadium on campus where the U.S. National Hall-of-Famer Bradley coached for 16 seasons.

Bradley came to Mason in 1985 and led Mason to an 18-4 record and the NCAA Tournament in his first season. The Patriots returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1996.

The Patriots had nine straight winning seasons under Bradley. When he left after the 2000 season, he had compiled a 183-113-35 record, more than twice as many wins as any other coach in school history. He also brought home three Colonial Athletic Association titles. In 2006, he was part of the inaugural class inducted in the George Mason Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame.

“Gordon was an icon, not just in the soccer world, but in the George Mason community as well,” Mason Athletics Director Tom O’Connor says. “Everywhere he went, he left a legacy, and that’s certainly true here at Mason.”

Mason was the final stop in a long and storied career for Bradley. Bradley is best known for coaching the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s. That’s when international superstar Pele helped bring the sport to America.

Bradley also coached the Washington Diplomats of the NASL and later, the Washington Stars, a Fairfax-based semipro team in the American Professional Soccer League. A 1996 inductee into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, he also served as a TV analyst for D.C. United.

Born in Sunderland, England, Bradley began his career playing for the Carlisle United as a defender. He also played in Canada before eventually playing in the NASL. He was hired by the Cosmos in 1971 as a player-coach, and he won the league title in his second season.

Bradley is survived by his wife of 49 years, Vera; his sons Paul and Doug; and five grandchildren.

The Bradley family has established the Gordon Bradley Scholarship Endowment in association with George Mason University. Individuals who wish to contribute to the scholarship endowment may donate online by visiting the Supporting Mason web site. Indicate the Bradley endowment in the comment section. For more information on contributing, call Kathleen Kehoe at 703-993-8740.

From the GoMason.com web site.

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