KIRKSVILLE — For Kearney High School alum Amanda Bradberry, the school district’s motto, “Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog” is true as the former Kearney Bulldog now helms the coaching staff of Truman University’s Bulldog softball team.
“Truman has always been a school I have a lot of respect for with both athletic and academic expectations and success. For me, to get this job here, it’s just an honor,” she said.
Truman State’s Athletics Director Jerry Wollmering announced Bradberry’s hiring in May, saying she was everything the university was looking for in its next head softball coach.
“She comes from a strong high school program in Missouri, Kearney High School; played collegiately at a high level; and has National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II head coaching experience,” he said in a university press release. “I am excited to welcome Amanda to the Truman and Kirksville communities.”
Bradberry, who grew up in and playing softball in Kearney, has a large family still in the city. She is happy the new coaching job has brought her closer to her hometown.
“The opportunity to be closer to home and all of that … was the cherry on top,” she said.
Bradberry said her playing high school ball and on Kearney/Holt recreation teams, provided her a good foundation and strong support for her career.
“Starting off in KHRA and then moving into travel ball and then into high school, I owe a lot of appreciation to coach Paul Lorbert. He was the head coach my freshman year and all four years of my high school career. He was really just a good leader and somebody I’ve been able to go talk to and even called since I’ve been in coaching,” she said of the former Kearney coach who retired in recent years.
Before heading to Truman State and after high school, Bradberry was an infielder at Iowa State University from 2007 to 2010 and had a successful seven-year run at Upper Iowa University of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, the last six of which were as the head coach of the Peacocks.
“Bradberry’s six seasons as the head coach in Fayette, Iowa were highlighted by the most successful campaign in program history in 2016. Upper Iowa won a school record 41 games (41-18), including a school record 21 conference victories (21-7), en route to its first ever NSIC Tournament Championship and first ever NCAA Tournament appearance,” states the Truman release. “The former Cyclone accumulated an overall record of 147-157 at Upper Iowa, 85-83 in the NSIC, with four NSIC Tournament appearances, seven All-NSIC selections, three NFCA All-Region performers and three NSIC Gold Glove winners.”
Bradberry earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Iowa State in 2010, and her master’s degree in adult education from Muskingum in University in New Concord, Ohio in 2012.
Bradberry inherits a Truman program that won more than 30 games in five of the last six seasons. The head coach, who has been on the Truman campus for about a month, said she is happy to be part of the coaching staff and is eager to add to the program’s reputation of success.
“I’m ready to get going,” she said.