NORFOLK, Va. – This evening, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) inducted athletic director Deanna Bradley into the association's Hall of Fame. Bradley was selected based on her 28-years of meritorious service to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (1991-Current) and incredible impact on the USCAA.
The ceremony was held at The Main in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Executive Director of the USCAA, Matthew Simms. The celebration featured a meet and greet between USCAA personnel, current members, and the Hall of Fame class, opening reception, dinner, a video highlighting her career accomplishments and award ceremony. She was presented with a plaque and a Hall of Fame ring to follow.
Bradley said, "I was beyond surprised when I received notification of the recognition. I have had to privilege of working with two quality institutions for a long time. I am extremely grateful to both SMWC and the USCAA for the opportunities they have provided our coaches and student-athletes."
Bradley feels this is a departmental award and is a blessed to be recognized at this level "This journey has involved many people, and I am appreciative to all those who have worked exceptionally hard to grow athletics at The Woods and to those at the USCAA who have paved the way for small schools like SMWC to receive national recognition. I am honored and truly blessed to be representing SMWC for this award."
President Dottie King is very appreciative and proud of what Bradley has done for the athletic department, "Deanna Bradley was hired to begin a scholarships program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Beginning with one women's team, she has been integral to growing high-quality programs. Her well-deserved recognition brings honor to our College."
Bradley serves as the athletic director at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and has fulfilled this role since she arrived at The Woods in 1991. Midway through the 1992-93 season, Bradley decided to cancel athletics and begin from scratch. In result, she formed a task force committee to explore the potential benefits of athletics at SMWC. After a one-year hiatus, she began restoring the department by adding scholarships for student-athletes. In 1994-95, women's basketball was introduced as the first-ever scholarship program. Today, SMWC has 13 varsity athletic offerings.
In 1995, Bradley was honored as the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Employee of the Year.
In 1999-00, she oversaw the transition from the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA) to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). This was a key component in the department's growth for athletics.
For 26 years, Bradley served as the women's basketball head coach. She stepped down in March 2018, having led the Pomeroys in every season except two (2002-03, 2003-04). Bradley headed the program to a 1999-2000 NSCAA tournament appearance and a National Championship Runner-up finish. Within the USCAA, five teams have qualified for the Division-I USCAA National Tournament (2001-02, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2017-18). She coached 35 USCAA All-Academic student-athletes, three USCAA First Team All-Americans, five USCAA Second Team All-Americans, four USCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans, and one GTE Academic All-American. In addition, she coached two players who were unanimously selected to the USCAA All-Tournament Team.
Under her leadership, the college boasts 32 postseason appearances, won an impressive 13 USCAA National Championships and finished as National Championship Runners-Up on 12 occasions. She provided feedback during the construction of the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center, which provides student-athletes and the campus community a top-notch sports and recreation experience.
She was an instrumental role in helping add men's athletic at The Woods.
Prior to arriving at SMWC, Bradley invested eight years at Delta Junction High School in Alaska. Leading the girls' basketball team as the head coach, she recorded an overall record of 126-79. In addition, she was named Delta's volleyball head coach. In 1986, she was dubbed Coach of the Year after leading both the girls' basketball and volleyball team to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) State Championships. Bradley was named Coach of the Year Runner-Up in 1985 and 1987 and hosted player's camps from 1981-1988.
Bradley is a member of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame. She was inducted in 2006 and was the first female student-athlete from South Ripley High School in honor of that caliber. In 2017, Bradley was inducted into the Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Within the USCAA, she served as a member of the Board of Directors for six years (2007-2013). She is an advocate for the growth of the affiliation and served on several committees to advance the USCAA in its most prominent time of growth.
Bradley was born in Seymour, Indiana, and grew up in Holton, Indiana. She graduated as a four-sport student-athlete from South Ripley High School. She holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana State University and a master's degree from Western Illinois University.
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