Rachael Bradley, who won a state title as a player at St. Mary’s High School in 2002 and was a part of a 25-1 Lynn English High School team as an assistant varsity coach this season, has been named the new head coach of the Lynn English girls basketball team.
Bradley, 28, was officially introduced as the new coach at a press conference Monday afternoon at the high school.
Bradley has been an assistant coach at English for the past five years, serving on coach Fred Hogan’s staff as the program became a perennial Northeastern Conference champion. This year’s team reached the Division 1 state semifinals at the Boston Garden where it fell to eventual state champion Braintree.
English principal Thomas Strangie and athletic director Gary Molea praised Bradley’s appointment.
“Rachael is a great person and she’s going to do a super job,” said Strangie. “I couldn’t be happier that she applied and accepted the job. I think the girls basketball team is definitely going to benefit from having her as the head coach. I look forward to having her here being a part of the English community in an elite position.”
Molea said Bradley was a highly regarded coach and emerged as a top-tier candidate when Hogan stepped down following the season.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with her,” said Molea. “The program has been doing very well the past several years. It was a surprise to all of us when coach Hogan stepped down and we wanted to have a smooth transition and we felt that coach Bradley would be the logical choice with her extensive background in basketball. I think she’ll do a fantastic job.”
Bradley was a basketball and soccer captain at St. Mary’s and continued her basketball career at Endicott College. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing from Endicott and is a nurse in the Lynn school system and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Bradley said she was excited to begin her tenure as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs and remain in the English school community.
“It’s awesome. I’m very excited for the opportunity to coach and stay here,” said Bradley. “Having worked here in the past as the nurse, I was able to foster relationships with faculty and staff and I think that’s one of the biggest assets – being able to know both sides, both academically and athletically. I’m a firm believer in a student-athlete and motivating a student-athlete to being a student first.”
Bradley began her coaching career with the freshman team at English and progressed up the ranks to assistant varsity coach.
“I think that will help me to really understand – freshman girls basketball can be quite a challenge just with skill development and taking what you have. We always have a motto in the program that we don’t cut freshmen. We give them the opportunity to explore the sport and then they kind of figure it out on their own whether they want to continue in the program.”
Bradley said the 2013-14 season in which English won 25 games in a row and the North sectional championship was a special one.
“The season was unbelievable. The girls worked tirelessly to get to where they got to. We were very athletically talented and there was just a sense of urgency from the beginning of the season that the coaching staff felt, the girls felt, and they worked their tails off to get to where they are. They have so much to be proud of on and off the basketball court.”
Bradley said she was grateful to coach Fred Hogan for giving her an opportunity to coach.
“I owe a lot of credit to Fred,” said Bradley. “He was the one who approached me about coaching in the first place. I hadn’t really thought about it initially when I was out of college. I was more focused on a career and just kind of getting on my feet as a new grad nurse. His giving me the opportunity to get into this really just lit a fire for being a coach and if there’s one thing that you can’t ever question about Fred, it’s his heart.”
Bradley, the daughter of Kevin and Robin Bradley, comes from an outstanding Lynn basketball family. Her older brothers, Jacob, Noah, and Kevin all played basketball at St. Mary’s, with Noah and Kevin preceding her success by winning a state basketball championship.