By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – David Bradberry’s boss – his wife Rose – told him it was time to retire from coaching football.
The Tupelo High School head coach didn’t call an audible.
Bradberry announced Friday he is leaving coaching and education after 37 years. He spent 25 of those years as head coach, the final three in Tupelo. He will work through May 2013.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said. “We had an enjoyable time in Tupelo, but it was time for us to move on. I wanted to spend time with my family.”
A news release from the Tupelo school district said a search for Bradberry’s successor would begin immediately. They would like to fill the position before the Christmas break.
“Coach Bradberry has been a valuable asset to our athletic program at Tupelo High School and a role model for our students,” superintendent Dr. Gearl Loden said in the release.
“David’s a great person and a great coach,” THS athletics director Danny Porter said. “We hate to lose him.”
Bradberry, 59, replaced Eric Collins following the 2009 season. He compiled a three-year record of 17-16, including a 7-4 mark his first season and a 6-5 ledger in 2011.
This season’s team finished 4-7 and missed the playoffs for the only time in his brief THS tenure.
“You always want to win more games,” he said. “I thought our coaches worked extremely hard this year. We played a lot of young people and got better and better. That’s what you look for as a coach.
“I’m proud of what we did and what we accomplished.”
Bradberry won his 200th career game Oct. 26 when the Golden Wave defeated Horn Lake 31-0 at home. He exits coaching with a 200-88 career record with stops at Greenwood, Clinton and St. Andrew’s. He also coached at Warren Central and East Central Community College.
He worked for one year with the Mississippi High School Activities Association before coming to Tupelo.