A familiar face in Philadelphia collegiate sports has returned to the city where he got his professional start, finally ending the drawn-out search for Temple’s new Director of Athletics.
William Bradshaw made the move from La Salle University to Chicago De Paul University in 1986 to head up De Paul University’s athletic department.
After a 16-year absence, Bradshaw is back in Philadelphia to hopefully do for Temple what he was able to do for DePaul.
At Temple, he might be faced with the task of finding Temple football a new conference.
For now he is currently in negotiations with the Eagles about the usage of Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles new home starting next season.
Bradshaw is also searching for a new home for the baseball, softball and soccer teams, which still compete at Temple Stadium, a lengthy commute for students.
He is confident that the teams will have new facilities in the area within a year or two.
From Bradshaw’s time at La Salle, he made allies with Hall of Fame basketball coach John Chaney and his relationship with baseball coach Skip Wilson dates back to his playing days on the diamond for the Explorers.
Coming to Temple was a smooth transition.
“It was important that it was a fit for me and it was also important that I felt that I could make a difference here.
When you look at an athletic program that’s been successful as Temple’s, there’s a lot of things that you can prioritize,” Bradshaw said.
“Obviously you look at athletics as being the front porch of the university.
It may not be the most important thing—in terms of the educational mission—but it’s the thing that everybody sees.”
Bradshaw brings more to Temple than just his track record of retooling programs, graduating athletes or finding new facilities. He brings leadership.
He brings marketing strategy. He is a businessman and a huge sports fan.
He has restructured two athletic programs in the last 25 years, served as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and helped pioneer an athletic conference.
What he did at DePaul was take an independent sports program and create a niche for it in the Great Midwest, currently Conference USA. But Bradshaw didn’t just find De Paul a home, he helped make one. In the process, 20 athletic teams have appeared in postseason championships in a span of 12 years.
Chris Silva can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org