Community School boys soccer coach Ed Bradley saved the best for last.
In winning the school’s first district soccer title, the Seahawks recently completed their finest season in Bradley’s five years at the helm. Community School (15-4-0) also went deep into the postseason, falling a match short of the state semifinals.
On Monday, CSN athletic director Cassie Barone issued an email saying the 66-year-old Bradley had resigned his position and that Eric Miles, currently the school’s softball coach, will become the boys soccer coach.
“Sometimes you lose good ones,” Barone said on Wednesday.
Bradley said in a phone interview he will be returning to his Narragansett, R.I., roots. That’s where he and his wife Gail moved from when they came to Naples in 2005.
The soccer lifer was born in Providence, played midfield for URI before graduating with a physical education degree in 1968. Bradley went on to coach the Rams from 1989 to 2005, winning 10 Atlantic 10 titles while compiling a 192-137-22 record.
But it was the call of family, not soccer, which led to the Bradley’s decision to head back to Rhode Island.
“I have eight grandchildren now in Rhode Island,” Bradley said. “When I left, I had two. They all live within eight miles of each other.”
Bradley came to Naples after retiring from URI in 2005. Initially, he wanted to work at a golf course and put some time in at local soccer clinics.
A CSN parent asked him in 2008 if he’d be interested in coaching at the school. Soon after, Bradley was back on the sidelines again, leading Community soccer from a fall sport to a more established winter one in 2008.
“It kept me in the game that I love,” Bradley said. “This was a terrific season this year. The kids played so well. We don’t get the attention of the bigger schools, but I think we can play with anyone — and they are all good teams around here.
“We have some young kids coming up that are pretty good players. With Coach Miles, it’s in good hands.”
Bradley said he made his decision to leave at the start of the Seahawks’ playoff run. in January. he and Miles, who coached CSN’s middle school boys team last season, talked often about the transition months before the announcement.
“Ed’s a great guy, a great mentor,” said Miles, who coached CSN’s girls team from 2008 to 2011. “I certainly learned a lot from him.”
Miles, who played soccer for Barron Collier in the 1990s, has a son, Brendan, a freshman, on the varsity.
“We have a lot of young guys coming up,” said Miles, also the school’s dean of academics. “I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Miles will remain as the softball coach.