LAKEWOOD RANCH — There’s no denying that Sean Brady was born with basketball in his genes.
As the grandson of a former collegiate basketball player who was eventually drafted and enjoyed a brief stint with the Philadelphia Warriors, it was only a matter of time before Brady, too, would pick up a basketball and started dribbling up and down the court.
Now some two decades later, Brady still is fueling his competitive spirit as the new head coach of The Out-of-Door Academy boys basketball team. Brady, who spent last season as an assistant coach, assumed the position on an interim basis at the start of the summer after former head coach Jason Peters moved back to Tennessee.
After hosting several workouts and open gyms throughout the summer as the interim coach, ODA Athletic Director Noel Beaulieu officially offered Brady the position at the end of the summer.
“I’ve never been a head coach before, so just the opportunity to be a head coach in general (is exciting),” Brady said. “It’s been great so far.
“I think there’s good potential to be able to build a successful program,” he said. “The facilities here are some of the best around for a high school. It’s really first-class, and that makes this an appealing place to coach.”
In his first season as head coach, Brady is looking to improve upon last season during which the Thunder suffered a plethora of injuries on its way to a lackluster five-win season.
“I would like to improve upon last year and start making this program into a winner,” Brady said. “Hopefully, we can start (building) the foundation and begin moving (the program) in the right direction, so we’re making the playoffs on an annual basis.”
A native of Philadelphia, Brady moved to Bradenton during his sophomore year of high school, where he played point guard for Lakewood Ranch. Brady went on to play at Clearwater Christian College, earning a degree in education, before turning his attention to coaching.
Brady spent a year on staff at Clearwater Christian before moving over to Bradenton Christian School where he spent three years as Dave Magley’s assistant.
Brady also earned his master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Miami. In addition to serving as ODA’s boys basketball coach, Brady also teaches health and physical education at Central High.
As he prepares for what he hopes will be a successful first season at the helm, Brady is hoping to draw upon both Magley and former Clearwater Christian coach Dell Wubbena’s philosophies for building a championship program.
“They’re both offensive-minded coaches, which is the system I (played) in,” Brady said. “You try to score a lot of points and be an exciting team where fans want to watch and players want to play.
“(Magley) taught everyone how to compete,” he said. “It’s OK to lose, but it’s not OK to lose if you aren’t competing and giving it your all.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].
+ Riley assumes lead role for ODA girls
Mike Riley has been coaching basketball for nearly 30 years, and now the former junior college coach is bringing his talents to another level after been recently named The Out-of-Door Academy’s girls basketball coach.
Friend and ODA Athletic Director Noel Beaulieu approached Riley about the position.
“I decided to go ahead and give it a try,” Riley said. “I’ve never coached high school or women’s basketball before, but I thought I could help them out and hopefully have a little fun with it too.”
A native of the Midwest, Riley grew up playing basketball. He spent a year playing collegiate basketball at Lincoln College in Illinois. Riley received his undergraduate degree from Bradley University before going on to Illinois State University where he earned his Master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation.
Prior to coming to ODA, Riley spent 27 years coaching junior college basketball throughout the Midwest. During his tenure, Riley, who is a member of the NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association Executive Committee, has seen a number of his players go on to play at various levels within the NCAA and NAIA. In addition, Riley coached former Harlem Globetrotter Curley Boo Johnson and has watched several of his players go on to play professionally in Europe.
“I think coaching and being involved in athletics … I think I’ve always enjoyed working with students, and teaching them the game and how to work together,” Riley said. “I enjoy teaching the finer parts of the game regarding how the team plays together.”