Bradley Braves Football EraIn 1901 Bradley forms its first football team and in 1917 Bradley discontinues its football program due to World War I
Bradley’s Basketball TeamIn 1955 Bradley’s basketball team reaches the NCAA Final Four for the second time, but loses in the semifinals
Jim Les as basketball coachIn 1996 Bradley hires Jim Les as basketball coach, who leads the team to several winning seasons and a berth in the NCAA tournament in 2006
Missouri Valley Conference championship WinnerIn 2009 Bradley’s women’s basketball team wins the Missouri Valley Conference championship
Bradley soccer team wins the Missouri Valley ConferenceIn 2019 Bradley soccer team wins the Missouri Valley Conference championship for the third time in program history
History of the Braves
The Bradley Braves have a long and storied history in NCAA sports, with roots that date back to the early 1900s. Founded as Bradley Polytechnic Institute in 1897, the school became known for its athletic prowess. The school's first intercollegiate team was established in 1908 when it joined the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC).
Throughout its existence, Bradley has been a member of several conferences, including the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now called Horizon League), and most recently Missouri Valley Football Conference. Since joining MVC in the 1955-56 season, they have won seven regular season titles, and five tournament championships, made 23 appearances at NCAA tournaments, and reached two Final Fours and one Elite Eight round during their tenure there.
In addition to their success on the court/field, they also boast an impressive list of alumni who went on to play professional sports or become coaches at various levels from high school all way up through college coaching ranks, such as former head coach Jim Les who is currently an assistant coach for UCLA men’s basketball program under Steve Alford. Other notable alums include NBA players Hersey Hawkins & Anthony Parker and MLB player Dave Stapleton.
Overall if you are looking for a great collegiate athletics program with plenty of tradition & success, look no further than The Bradley Braves! They continue to be one of the top teams each year within conference competition while also making occasional runs deep into postseason play, which makes them a must-see team any fan should follow this upcoming year closely!
College Sports Established
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1948 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1948 - 1952, 1955 - Present / Missouri Valley Conference
1952 - 1955 / Independent
Braves - The Bradley Braves are one of the most storied teams in NCAA history, and their name has a proud tradition behind it. The nickname's origins can be traced back to World War I when Bradley University's student body members served in France as part of a U.S. Army unit known as "The Fighting 99th." This unit comprised students attending various universities across America, including many from Bradley University who wore red and white uniforms with an Indian headdress on their caps - thus earning them the nickname "the Braves."
Although no official record confirms this story, it remains popular among sports fans and alumni alike, so much so that when the university formed its basketball team in 1930, it adopted “Braves” as its mascot for good! Since then, all athletic teams at Bradly have been known by this moniker – proudly representing school spirit and honoring those brave soldiers who fought during WWI.
Over time other symbols, such as Chief Braveheart, were added to reinforce these ties to Native American culture while providing additional visual representation for fans cheering on their beloved team throughout each season! With such an interesting backstory behind them – it’s easy to see why people continue rooting for ‘the Braves year after year!
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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