Ronnie Bradford
Ronnie  Bradford

Last College:

Defensive Backs/Special Teams Coordinator



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Ronnie Bradford completed his third season as the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Louisiana Tech in 2015 after joining the staff in January 2013.

During his third season at LA Tech in 2015, Bradford helped lead a unit that ranked eighth nationally in defensive touchdowns. All four of Tech’s defensive touchdowns came from Bradford’s starting cornerback, Bryson Abraham, who scored on all three interceptions on the year and had a fumble return for a touchdown. Abraham would finish the year ranked tied for 14th in passes defended, averaging 1.5 passes defended per game. On the other side of the field, cornerback Adairius Barnes registered his 10th career interception in the New Orleans Bowl win over Arkansas State moving him into a tie for eighth all-time at Louisiana Tech.

Bradford’s special teams units also ranked seventh nationally with four blocked kicks on the year. Abraham contributed one while senior Blake Martin registered two with Paul Turner adding the fourth. His success with the cornerbacks and on special teams helped Louisiana Tech win back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.

In 2014, Bradford and the Bulldogs captured the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl title after a 35-18 victory over Illinois at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. That season, Bradford helped lead LA Tech to a 9-5 overall record and Conference USA West Division title, as the Bulldog defense ranked in the Top 10 nationally in interceptions (1st), turnovers gained (1st), fumbles recovered (5th) and defensive touchdowns (9th).

During his first year in Ruston, Bradford guided talented group of cornerbacks including two - Adairius Barnes and Bryson Abraham - that recorded multiple interceptions in games during the 2013 season. Barnes led the Bulldogs with four interceptions returned for 70 yards, including a pick-six at UTSA.

Bradford was most recently the safeties coach for Memphis during the 2011 season when the Tigers registered 12 interceptions returned for 161 yards and 30 pass break-ups for a total of 42 passes defended. The Memphis defense forced and recovered 18 fumbles that season.

“Ronnie Bradford brings a different dimension to our staff because of his 10 years of playing experience in the National Football League,” said Holtz. “His NFL coaching background and his experience in special teams are the things that really attracted me to him.”

Prior to his short stint in Memphis, Bradford spent one season with the University of California football staff in 2010 as an administrative assistant on the defensive side of the ball. The Cal defense led the Pac-10 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in per-game averages for sacks (2.83 spg, No. 13), total defense (319.08 ypg, No. 18) and pass defense (187.00 ypg, No. 21) during his one season with the program. Cal was also second in the conference in opponents’ third down conversion percentage (34.7 percent). The team’s pass efficiency defense and scoring defense, which held opponents to 17 points or less in eight of 12 games, were both third in the Pac-10, as well as 31st and 40th nationally.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the staff at Louisiana Tech,” Bradford said. “I have watched the great platform that this program has built the last few years and I am looking forward to helping the program sustain the success it has recently had. Coach Holtz is putting together a great staff and I am really excited about working with such great kids on this team.”

Before he joined the collegiate coaching ranks, Bradford was a seven-year assistant coach in the NFL. He was a defensive assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 and prior to that he spent six years on the Denver Broncos staff, where he served in a variety of capacities both on defense and special teams. In his final year in Denver in 2008, Bradford coached the team’s defensive backs, mentoring a group that featured nine-time Pro Bowl and three-time first-team All-Pro selection cornerback Champ Bailey, and two-time Pro Bowl pick Dré Bly.

He spent the 2004-06 campaigns as Denver’s special teams coach and was the club’s assistant special teams coach in 2003. Over that four-year span, the Broncos qualified for the postseason on three different occasions, including the 2005 campaign when Denver reached the AFC Championship Game. During that same four-year time frame, kicker Jason Elam ranked third in the NFL in both made field goals (107) and points scored (479).

Bradford also played for 10 seasons in the NFL with Denver (1993-95), Arizona (1996), Atlanta (1997-2001) and Minnesota (2002). He was a member of the Falcons’ squad that claimed the 1998 NFC title and advanced to Super Bowl XXXIII, where he registered an interception off Broncos’ quarterback John Elway. Bradford played in 133 regular season NFL games, accumulating 523 tackles, 13 interceptions that he returned for 65 yards and one TD, 2.0 sacks (-19 yards), 70 passes defended, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Bradford was a two-year starter and four-year letterwinner in college at Colorado and was a first-team All-Big 8 selection as a senior in 1992. As a sophomore, he helped guide the Buffaloes to an appearance in the National Championship game versus Notre Dame, where he blocked a PAT attempt in the final minutes to preserve a 10-9 victory at the Orange Bowl. He graduated from Colorado in 1995.

He is married to the former Trish Mortenson and the couple has three children: Tony, Kaylee and Justin.


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