He’s only in his second season at Purdue, but he has quickly made a huge impact on his program.
Rob Bradley, a former assistant at the University of North Florida, as well as the University of Alabama, is in his second year as the head coach for Purdue’s men’s golf. In just his first season at the helm of the program, he guided Purdue to an NCAA National Championship appearance, its first since 2005, after his team stunned many coaches and players by advancing out of the Central Regional last season.
After two appearances in the NCAA National Championship at UNF, a National Championship victory at Alabama, as well as playing on the PGA Tour, Bradley has been able to quickly gain the trust of his players.
“As far as instruction goes, we all trust him really, really well because we know he’s been there and he knows what we need to do individually,” said Austin Eoff, a sophomore on the team.
The Boilers, after a nine-year hiatus from Nationals, went much further than many expected behind the stellar play of guys like Adam Schenk, Enzo Perez and Eoff himself. But Bradley was not at all surprised with where his team ended up finishing the season because of the faith he has in his players’ abilities.
“They definitely didn’t exceed my expectations,” Bradley said. “I can see how they may have exceeded the expectations of others just from a rankings standpoint and how far we made it, but we have some really talented guys on the team.”
During his time with the Ospreys and the Crimson Tide, Bradley learned and took notes about what makes a successful team. When he arrived at Purdue, he didn’t come with rah-rah speeches or fancy slogans. Instead, he has relied on simplicity and making sure to keep his players accountable, on and off the course.
“I think I’m trying to coach the guys to be responsible and to do well in the classroom,” Bradley said. “Golf is a delicate game with the physical side as well as the mentality. Guys that do well in school and who’re organized, I think that carries over a lot to golf. I saw it in our championship team at Alabama; we had a lot of great students on the team, but also they were great players. I think the two go hand-in-hand.”
Along with his desire to coach men who perform well in the classroom, he also wants to maintain an open dialogue with his players. According to Eoff, Bradley has made that happen quickly and easily.
“Coach Bradley is really relaxed; I mean we’re all really comfortable around him and (assistant coach Jake Amos) as well,” Eoff said. “We don’t have to hide anything, you could say. We could talk to them about anything and they’re really open. As far as golf goes, they’re both great players and they strive to make us better.”