Former Wildcat Grad Assistant Wins Third Super Bowl Ring

Former Wildcat Grad Assistant Wins Third Super Bowl Ring

Former Wildcat Graduate Assistant Coach Terry Bradden Jr. just helped push the Kansas City Chiefs to its second Super Bowl in as many years, marking his — and their — fifth Super Bowl appearance. 

Bradden is in his seventh season coaching with the Chiefs, where he serves as assistant defensive line coach. But he was right here at B-CU where he was first noticed by the Chiefs’ staff.  

The Riviera Beach, Florida native originally thought he wanted to be a U.S. Marshall after graduating from Tuskegee University, but he quickly realized he was passionate about coaching.

Former B-CU head football coach Terry Sims, who had known Bradden since his days playing quarterback at Inlet Grove High School in Riviera Beach, brought him on as a graduate assistant on the coaching staff for the 2016-17 academic year. During his second semester as a grad assistant, Bradden took on an internship with the NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando — the annual all-star game where the league’s top talent convenes to show off their skills. 

But his name wasn’t originally on the list of B-CU staffers who were going to work the Pro Bowl, which was hosted in Orlando from 2017-2020. When another graduate assistant, who focused on compliance, backed out Sims recommended Bradden to take his place.”

“I owe coach Sims a lot,” said Bradden. “He’s been a blessing to me.” Bradden credits his time as B-CU and the connection he made to get him the level he’s at today.

A chance breakfast with NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas at that Pro Bowl catapulted his career. Thomas, a former Chiefs cornerback who holds the team’s all-time interception record and won Super Bowl IV with the team, asked Bradden what he wanted to do with his life.

 “I said I just want to learn football, as much as I can,” Bradden said. Thomas introduced him to other members of the Chiefs’ staff, and two weeks later, Bradden was interviewing with Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid for a defensive quality control coach position. 

Now Bradden is an assistant defensive line coach, and played a key role in the Chiefs’ run through the playoffs that included shutting down the league’s top offense in the AFC championship game against Baltimore. 

After the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV in 2020, Bradden thanked "God, Terry Sims and Bethune-Cookman University,” without whom he said the honor “wouldn’t have been possible.”

Even though B-CU was just a stepping stone in Bradden's warp speed ride to professional football success, he said, "Coach Sims prepared me well” to succeed on the sport’s biggest stage. 

"Everything that's happened speaks volumes to how hard he works," Sims said after Super Bowl LIV. "He's earned this. I couldn't be prouder."