SWAC leader Braddy retiring after 28 seasons

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2000

Jackson State coach Bob Braddy, who won more Southwestern Athletic Conference Games than anyone in history, retired unexpectedly Wednesday.

Braddy would not say why he retired abruptly.

“I really did not want to retire right now,” Braddy told The Clarion-Ledger. “But things did not work out. In life, you have to make some tough decisions and this was one of those tough decisions.”

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Braddy, who became interim athletic director in May of 1999, won a record 12 SWAC titles in 28 seasons at his alma mater, going 823-555. The Tigers won the 2000 conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

JSU athletic director Roy Culberson and Braddy had been discussing the possibility of Braddy returning for another year as baseball coach and assistant AD.

Culberson seemed to think that Braddy would still work within the university in some capacity.

“We regret losing a coach of his talent,” said Culberson, who became AD July 1. “Coach Braddy was a great asset to the Jackson State athletics program. His success as a baseball coach has been well-documented, and I think he still has a lot to offer to the game and to this program.”

An interim coach is expected to be selected within two weeks, Culberson said. Assistant coach Mark Salter is the leading candidate.

“It has been a real stressful situation the past couple of months, not knowing what I was going to do,” said Braddy, who was a two-time All-SWAC pitcher in the early 1960s before taking over as head coach in 1973.

Since that time, 52 of Braddy’s players have reached the professional ranks, including Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, Dave Clark, Wes Chamberlain, Marvin Freeman and Curtis Ford.

JSU pitcher Dewan Day said Braddy’s announcement caught him off guard.

“I’m real shocked,” he said. “I wish he could stay. I was hoping to finish my career at Jackson State with him as the coach. He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”