NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Coach Bradley Brings Back Cross Country to NECC

Northern Essex Athletics has not offered a cross country program in seven years. There hasnt been a coach or enough students to fill out a team. Now, after all this time, they are bringing the program back thanks to new head coach Thomas Bradley.

Bradley has accomplished many things in his life. He grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from the Military Academy at West Point and ended up a captain in the U.S. Army for five years. After that part of his life, he worked on Wall Street and several banks.

For about 38 years now, he has been coaching multiple sports at different schools around New England. When asked what sport he enjoys coaching the most, he always says the same thing: cross country.

The last job Bradley had before Northern Essex was head coach of the cross country team at Wilmington High School, where he coached for 18 years. With Wilmington he also coached the girls basketball team, showing the high school his love and dedication to sports.

At the end of his 18 years at Wilmington High, he announced his retirement. His retirement didn’t last too long though.

Bradley saw an ad in the Eagle-Tribune that Northern Essex needed a head coach for cross country and decided to contact Athletic Director Sue MacAvoy. When he met with MacAvoy, he learned that he would actually be bringing back the program. He reacted positively to the news and is ready for the new challenge.

His retirement barely lasted a whole summer. He just couldn’t stay away.

A lot of it has just been fun. As long as I stay healthy I can see myself sticking around for a while,Bradley said.

The cross country team has five scheduled meets this season. It will be a new experience for Bradley, because this is his first time coaching at the college level.

Bradley is now recruiting all students who may be interested in running cross country. Those interested can reach him at

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