MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The press release is out, the plaudits are in and Tom Bradley is West Virginia's latest - and ideally the last - addition to what's been a turnstile coaching staff.
The longtime Penn State assistant will be the senior associate head coach in Titletown, where there is no Big 12 championship just yet, but where there is Bradley and associate head coach Joe DeForest, assistant head coach Lonnie Galloway, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.
What does it all mean? It looks curious and congested at the top of whatever pecking order you have in your head. And that vision might create a scene of conflict where coaches race one another to meetings to get the seats closest to Dana Holgorsen, or that they try to talk louder to get their head coach's ear and game plans are set one when one coach's ego gives into another's.
But titles are now mostly ways to lure a coach from one job to another or for a coach to rationalize a move from one job to another. Sometimes they fit, and Bradley's label sticks.
If there is to be conflict or confusion, Bradley ends it. If there's a need for wisdom or advice, Bradley has it. Whatever might come from whatever scenarios you might foresee, Bradley has probably been through it. That might sound convenient or cliche, but pulling Bradley out of the analyst's role and back onto the sideline had to have come with conditions, and if one was giving Bradley leverage and latitude, then that's good for him and better for WVU.
Bradley's been on 20 nine-win teams. The Mountaineers have only ever had 17. He's been in 26 bowl games. WVU has played in 32. He's won two national championships. The Mountaineers have only ever played for one - and no program has won more games without a national title.
This is a headline-snatching hire for Holgorsen who's pulled a few the past few years, namely Gibson and JaJuan Seider. But this isn't a reunion or a homecoming. Holgorsen landed one of the best in the business, and trust that Bradley took a long look before getting on board and saw he could help.
For all the accolades Bradley earned through the years, some of the most rave reviews came at the end of his time at Penn State. Bradley was the interim coach who had to steer the Nittany Lions around everything that was happening around them and through the final few games. It would seem a little foolish to think that overlapping labels and petty power struggles would be the sort of thing he'd let appear and interfere with his work.
Now, where will he work? That hasn't been revealed yet, but probably with the linebackers. True, Tony Gibson was named the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Friday, hours before Bradley's hiring was announced, but Gibson has never coached those players at this level. Bradley has.