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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 4  

Web Extras
Incoming freshmen | Tour the arena | Basketball facility | New to BU coaching staff | Shrek makes a splash at Bradley | Accounting society earns gold again | AARON SCHOCK ’02 and Laura Bush reward summer readers | Preston Jackson: Artist in residence | Dig the ride | BU alum wins Edward R. Murrow award | Students talk about grant writing | DANIEL BREWER ’09 aims for Yankee Stadium

 

Bradley welcomes new coaching staff

By JACQUELINE R. KOCH ’07

Q&A with
WILLIE SCOTT ’83

Men’s assistant
basketball coach

By ERIN WOOD MILLER ’09

WILLIE SCOTT ’83, a former star point guard for the Bradley Braves, has returned to the Hilltop as an assistant men’s basketball coach.

Scott helped lead Bradley to the 1982 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and NIT championships before going on to play professionally for 14 seasons on three continents.

His second successful career was in the fashion industry, designing clothes for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The Chicago native returned to coaching basketball three years ago, most recently as head coach at Malcolm X College for two seasons before returning to his alma mater.

Scott recently discussed his new position and his hopes for the upcoming season with Bradley Hilltopics.

Q: What appealed to you about returning to Bradley?
A: Bradley has a winning tradition, and the level of competition in the MVC is exciting to me. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to work with Coach Les and to be among the Peoria community and Bradley’s fans again.

Q: What are some realistic goals for the upcoming season?
A: We can become a better defensive and rebounding team. We will shoot to win the MVC and to get to a post tournament — the NCAA or NIT.

Q: What’s your coaching style like?
A: I believe in teaching and getting the best out of your players by pushing them but encouraging them at the same time. In order to be a champion, you must also commit to playing defense.

Q: What is a typical day like for you in your new position?
A: Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting! I am on the phone constantly trying to land a player or two and sending out letters to prospective student-athletes. I look forward to spending time with the team and getting to know them and coaching them.

Q: What did you learn while playing professionally that you have brought with you?
A: Maturity, experience, and knowing how to win. Also, enhancing and developing basketball skills in every position and teaching players to commit to the game.

Q: Many people know you for fashion design. Are you still involved with that?
A: I have a few clients, but I want to coach full time. I was blessed to do really well as a designer. Now I would like to become the best coach I can be and let God take it from there.

Several new athletic coaches arrived at Bradley this summer, poised to build on the solid athletic tradition on the Hilltop. As if new coaches didn’t elicit enough excitement, the athletic department announced that the men’s basketball team will play the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils. The December 8th game will be hosted at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

Mary Moan
Women’s golf head coach

Mary Moan brings not only years of coaching experience to the women’s golf team, but years of collegiate and professional playing experience, as well.

Moan, who became the head coach of the women’s golf team in June, will combine those experiences to prepare her Braves for the upcoming season. “There are three things I believe in college golf that are difference-makers and that’s fitness, the short game, and the mental game,” she said. “Those are the three areas I’m going to focus on most aggressively.”

Moan was a standout golfer for Princeton University, winning 16 collegiate tournaments during her career, including the 1997 Ivy League championship. That year, she also was named a National Golf Coaches Association All-American. Her familiarity with the Ivy League propelled her to coaching success at Yale University, where she was head coach from 2000 to 2005, guiding the Bulldogs to two conference championships during that time.

She then pursued a professional career, claiming four championships on the Moonlight Golf Tour and finishing in the top 10 in several state open tournaments and SunCoast Ladies Series events.

Since being named Bradley’s head coach, Moan has contacted her players and plans to connect with them individually to learn about them as people and athletes. The team will then sit down and form concrete goals for the season, she said. “If you’re not shooting to win your conference title, there’s no reason to be out there in the first place, and I think the team will agree with that.”

The Bradley community’s enthusiasm for sports attracted Moan to the head coaching position. The Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance and new campus buildings showed her how committed the University was to academic and athletic success.

“It was just clear to me that (athletic director Dr. Michael Cross) has a vision and a plan, and that he’s going to implement all that needs to happen for each team to have an opportunity to win conference championships and compete at the national level,” she said. “You can just see the positive momentum on campus with all the changes in the buildings and the enthusiasm of President Glasser. I just knew that this was the right place for me to continue my coaching career.”

Jim Platt
Men’s assistant basketball coach

After 32 years of coaching college basketball, Jim Platt has gained enough experience to know how to help a head coach. “I’m trying to bring a level of experience and maturity,” said the new men’s basketball assistant coach, who himself has worked as a head coach for the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and Charleston Southern University. “That includes having the wisdom to know when you should say something and when you should stay out of the way.”

The former Army assistant coach also knows how to help young men succeed at basketball and beyond. “You have a responsibility to help them grow in all aspects of their lives,” Platt said. “And what a privilege that is. You’re trying to win in all areas, on the court, off the court, and in the game of life.”

The Bradley assistant coaching job enticed Platt because he saw the area’s commitment to men’s basketball. “College coaches want to coach where basketball is important to the university, the community, and to the student body,” he said. “And they continue to indicate that it’s important here in Peoria, and that they have a passion for it.”

Originally from Aurora, Platt is excited to return to the Midwest with his family.

Cody Roberts
Head strengthening and training coach

As a former collegiate track athlete who specialized in the discus and hammer, Cody Roberts understands the importance of training athletes physically and mentally.

Roberts, a former Kansas Jayhawk, became the new head strengthening and training coach in June. He will work with all athletes to help them prevent injury, enhance their performances, and improve their athletic abilities.

“It’s not always about the sport they play now,” he said. “It’s about training them to be healthy their entire lives and passing that along to children or other students. I want them to enjoy it and have fun.”

Bradley’s new athletic facilities and the vision of the new athletic director, Dr. Michael Cross, attracted Roberts to the University. He spent the early summer with fellow strength coach Ronnie Wright determining equipment needs for the new facility.

“I came here because I wanted to continue to work in sports and with athletes,” Roberts said. “I want to be a facilitator who helps athletes realize their dreams and potential, and I want to help athletes develop leadership within their team and accountability with each other.”

Marc Burns
Head cross country and track coach

Having left conference cross country power Wichita State, new cross country and track head coach Marc Burns wants to create a similar contender in Bradley.

“I’m really hoping to create a very strong team-oriented atmosphere and a focus on creating a common mission amongst the team,” said the former Shockers and Loyola University head coach. “My goal is to create a situation where Bradley is the dynasty in cross country that Wichita State has become. I want to swing the pendulum over to Bradley.”

Burns said the new campus facilities and the atmosphere of growth and progress at Bradley attracted him to the job, as well as the ability to focus on the distance running events.

After arriving in mid-July, he immediately began recruiting, meeting with current athletes, and establishing relationships within the community. His top goal for the men’s and women’s cross country teams is to challenge for an MVC title each year and advance to the NCAA meet.

Bradley doesn’t field a men’s track and field team, though Burns hopes he’ll be able to make a case for one in the future.

“My job is to win cross country titles, put some great teams out there, and develop a great program,” he said. “But I also understand that the way you do that is through balance. You need to be able to create a situation where student-athletes can be successful in all three areas of their lives. They need to be great students, great athletes, and they can develop into a great person.”

Devin O’Neill
Assistant soccer coach

Devin O’Neill’s ties to men’s soccer coach Jim DeRose go back to the pair’s formative years, when they played on the same competitive soccer team as 12- and 13-year-olds. O’Neill had followed Bradley’s soccer success from afar and pounced on the opportunity to become an assistant coach under DeRose.

“I’ve been very impressed with the success that Coach DeRose has had and what he’s done with the program,” O’Neill said. “I looked very closely at Bradley and continued to become more intrigued the more I learned about the University, as well as the program.”

O’Neill spent the last 11 years as a head coach at the collegiate level, including the last seven at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He hopes his experience as a head coach will enable him to anticipate what DeRose needs.

“I love the game of soccer,” O’Neill said. “I love watching film and trying to figure out different ways of doing things and teaching players. That just never grows old.”

O’Neill, who arrived on campus permanently in early August, said he’s excited to compete in the MVC.

“I know that all our opponents will test us greatly,” he said. “It enhances the job and also the program so that when we go out and try to attract young men to the University, being a member of a highly esteemed conference helps.”

 

Incoming freshmen | Tour the arena | Basketball facility | New to BU coaching staff | Shrek makes a splash at Bradley | Accounting society earns gold again | AARON SCHOCK ’02 and Laura Bush reward summer readers | Preston Jackson: Artist in residence | Dig the ride | BU alum wins Edward R. Murrow award | Students talk about grant writing | DANIEL BREWER ’09 aims for Yankee Stadium