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Windermere Observer Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2018 3 months ago

Mike Bradley steps down as Dr. Phillips baseball coach | Observer Preps

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On the heels of the program's deepest playoff run in two decades, Mike Bradley announced June 5 he had stepped down at Dr. Phillips and taken the head coach job at Winter Springs, allowing him to work closer to his home in Seminole County.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

Fresh off its run to the FHSAA Class 9A State Semifinals, the Dr. Phillips baseball program is in the market for a new head coach.

Mike Bradley, an alum of the program (Class of 1998) and the team's head coach from 2010 through 2018, announced via his Twitter account that he had stepped down from the post Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, he shared that he had accepted the head coach job at Winter Springs High, where he will also teach. Bradley, who has lived in Lake Mary for several years, said the reasoning behind this decision was the ability to work closer to home, so that he might spend more time with his wife and three children.

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Bradley said his commute on Interstate 4 to and from campus could range anywhere from 35 minutes on good days to an hour-and-a-half on bad days.

"It’s been real difficult during the fall season and the spring season to spend more time with (my family)," Bradley explained. "This is going to give me the opportunity to do that. ... My family was motivation."

A tough decision process came on the heels of the program having its deepest playoff run in two decades. Though the Panthers came up short of winning the second state championship in program history, falling 5-1 to Timber Creek in the FHSAA Class 9A State Semifinal June 2, the team's exciting journey to that point served a memorable bookend to Bradley's time coaching his alma mater. 

Mike Bradley addresses his team before the FHSAA Class 9A State Semifinal in Fort Myers June 2.

"To go the furthest in my last season, to reach the Final Four, just kind of is icing on the cake," Bradley said. "Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to have won the whole thing — but it’s a tremendous feat to get there."

During his nine seasons at the helm, Bradley's teams compiled a record of 147-110 — making him the winningest coach in program history. 

A search for his replacement is underway. It is unclear which members of Bradley's staff — a staff full of former players and longtime assistants — will remain, and Bradley indicated a few are already planning on pursuing new opportunities inside and outside of baseball.

Steven Ryzewski is the Senior Sports Editor for ObserverPreps.com, as well as all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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