Former Catamount men’s golfer returns to alma mater
"Gorham has a strong knowledge of golf and his enthusiasm and desire to help Catamount Golf become champions are contagious," Smith said. "I'm sure he will build on the foundation put in place by (former) Coach Wike as he moves the program forward."
Since becoming head coach, Western has shattered the record books, recording the lowest individual scores for 54 holes and the lowest scores for 18, 36 and 54 holes. The 2006-07 roster featured five of the top 25 career scoring leaders and five of the top eight single-season leaders. Also, since taking over, Bradley has overseen 24 top 10 finishes with the team.
The biggest breakthrough in the program's history came during the 2006-07 season when Matt Cook was named Southern Conference Golfer of the Year and first team All-Southern Conference, while winning the 2006 SoCon individual title and earning an at-large bid to the 2006 NCAA East Regional.
In addition to Bradley coming midway through the 2004-05 season, then freshman Cook joined the squad at the same time and, although playing just half the season, Cook was still named second team All-Southern Conference. Cook, who went on to be medalist twice and place fifth at the SoCon Championship, became the first Catamount to be all-conference since 1995.
Bradley, an assistant golf professional at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley in Cashiers since 2003, was a member of the Catamount golf team from 2000-04. In addition to his playing responsibilities, Bradley started his current career path during his undergraduate career, handling administrative duties such as transportation of the team and playing significant roles in the organization and execution of the Cats' home tournaments and the 2003 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship. Bradley additionally demonstrated his leadership by serving on the WCU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for four years, one year on the committee's leadership team which set policies and executed initiatives.
"I am real excited to continue being a part of the Catamount family and taking over this program at a crucial time," Bradley said. "We are peeking athletically and the mindset has changed from the past. Teams in the past would go into tournaments hoping for a top five or 10 finish. Now, the guys on this team go into every event with the expectation of winning. We have great talent and should be a force this spring."
A three-time Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll honoree (2001, `02 and `03), Bradley graduated Cum Laude (3.5 grade point average) from Western Carolina with a degree in sport management with concentrations in athletic administration and professional sport management. He was additionally a three-time Dean's List honoree.
"In the years he has been with our program, Gorham has shown great leadership," Wike said. "He has the mental and technical aspects of the game down and, being a former athlete, he can say things in a manner to the guys to make them understand his experiences. His ability has been verified by the fact he was hired as an assistant pro at one of the most pretigious golf courses in the nation (Country Club of Sapphire Valley)."
Prior to his Catamount career, Bradley was a four-time all-area and Big Eight All-Conference pick at Southern Nash High School. He helped Southern Nash place seventh in the region as a sophomore, fourth as a junior and runner-up as a senior. He was his school's first four-time all-conference selection and just the second in the Big Eight Conference's history to accomplish the feat.