Wood River High School athletic and activities director John Rade on Wednesday announced the hiring of a new boys' basketball head coach for the Wolverines.
He is Rick Bradshaw. He's believed to be the first Wood River alumnus in 45 years of Wood River High basketball to take the head coaching job.
Bradshaw, 41, replaces high school teacher John Radford, who resigned his coaching position at the end of the 2010-11 season after five head coaching campaigns and three previous years as junior varsity coach.
"Rick has a great passion for the game and for building school spirit at Wood River," said Rade about the son of Fred and Jeannie Bradshaw.
Bradshaw, last year's varsity assistant to Radford, said, "The kids are excited, the coaches are excited and we're looking for a new, fresh start for Wood River basketball."
A Hailey native, Bradshaw attended school in the Wood River Valley and graduated from Wood River High School in 1988. He played basketball all four of his years at Wood River and was a starting forward on the 1988 WRHS boys' team (19-7), which starred A-2 Player of the Year Brad Jaques and placed fourth in the state. Bradshaw averaged 10.9 ppg on that team.
According to Rade, Bradshaw still holds the record for the most rebounds in a single season at Wood River.
He is married to Jennifer Bradshaw, currently employed by the Blaine County School District. Rick is currently the assistant manager and purchasing agent for Electrical Wholesale Supply based in Hailey.
Bradshaw said Wood River alumnus Mike Payne has accepted his invitation to return as junior varsity coach. Payne, senior co-captain for Wood River's 17-5 squad in 1982, coached the Wolverine JV last winter after serving as a volunteer coach with the Community School boys' program during the 2009-10 campaign.
The new coach is still seeking a varsity assistant coach and freshman coach to complete his 2011-12 staff. Bradshaw said Ketchum's Liz Clark, the Wood River JV boys' coach in 2009-10, has expressed an interest in returning.
Rade said, "I'm proud to announce the hiring of Rick Bradshaw as the new Wood River head varsity boys' basketball coach. Rick brings passion, commitment, desire and coaching experience to the boys' basketball program. His ability to create and maintain positive relationships with players, coaches and community members will be a valuable asset.
"As an alumnus of Wood River High, Rick understands the challenges and opportunities facing the program and has the patience, understanding and drive to build upon the efforts of John Radford.
"I'd like to thank John for all of his years of service. His commitment to the sport of basketball and Wood River High School students will be missed. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Radford and we all wish him all the best."
After an interview process completed this week that resulted in Bradshaw's selection, Rade said, "Rick has always had the desire and the goal to coach basketball at Wood River.
"Rick has been a part of the Wood River boys' basketball program for the past three years as the freshman coach and assistant varsity coach. He is involved with the Wood River valley summer basketball program, helping kids develop their basketball skills."
The couple's 8-year-old son, Reese, has just finished his second-grade year at Hailey Elementary School.
Bradshaw attended college at Utah Valley Community College, College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and Boise State University on his path to becoming boys' basketball coach.
High school students (incoming freshmen through seniors) interested in playing basketball at Wood River High next season are invited to open gyms on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. through the month of June.
Bradshaw said returning players have already competed in one tournament, June 3-4 at Hagerman. He is also planning to send varsity and junior varsity teams to a June 24-25 tournament in Carey.