KINGSTON, R.I. — December 20, 2005 — What does Ed Bradley most want to talk about as he retires from coaching the URI men’s soccer team for the past 17 years?
It’s not about his six trips to the NCAA tourney or the 10 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. No, Bradley, one of the most successful coaches of any sport in URI history, wants to say thank you to the campus community.
“This is a great University, from the administrators, the professors, athletic staff, the coaches, to the grounds crews and maintenance people. It’s been great working here.
“I am proud to say that I am a graduate of URI (class of 1968) because this University is special in so many ways,” the Narragansett resident said.
An All-Yankee Conference midfielder in 1967, he earned his degree in physical education at URI and then earned his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Rhode Island College.
“From the time I was a student, URI has just gotten better and better in all phases, including the academic performance of its students, its athletic facilities, residence halls, and academic buildings,” Bradley said.
Since he has been part of the scene in Kingston for so long, he knows better than most that it takes a great team effort to achieve excellence. He said alumni, boosters and friends of URI have all had an incredible impact on URI’s progress.
“I just see so many hard-working, caring people here at URI,” said the most successful coach in Rhody soccer history with a 192-137-22 record.
He also said major initiatives by University administrators, such as the Centennial Scholarship program and the residence hall renovations, have made it easier to attract top student-athletes to Kingston.
He said his retirement, which he announced earlier this month, will give him a chance to spend more time with his wife of 36 years, Gail, also a URI graduate. He’ll be moving to Florida, but maintain his home in Narragansett. “I want to have a chance to do some different things, like travel, play some golf, spend more time with my three children and three grandchildren.”
He also said two of his close friends died this year, causing him to evaluate what he wanted to do next.
“I have enjoyed this job so much that it often feels like I just got here, but the travel, the delays in airports, the long bus rides, the recruiting trips also meant that I missed a lot,” the coach said.
“So, now I plan to take in Red Sox spring training,” said the former member of the men’s varsity baseball team. “I’d like to watch some URI baseball too, but with my spring soccer practices in the past, that was always difficult.
“My wife and I definitely have travel plans in our future. My recruiting trips have taken me to Canada, Scotland, Poland and Jamaica among others and we have friends in those countries.”
How about soccer’s FIFA World Cup next summer in Germany? “I’d like to go, and I am thinking about it.”
But as he wraps things up this month, he also wants people to remember the many great players and coaches who helped put URI soccer back on the national soccer map. He’ll have a special goodbye for his coaches, especially his top assistant Jay Primiano, who played for Bradley when he coached soccer at Barrington High School and Rhode Island College.
“At URI, we’re a very tight group, and we have always tried to make URI soccer a family,” Bradley said. “Coaching college students keeps you young. We take pride in putting together one of the most successful and diverse teams at URI.”