Barrington coaching legends earn hall of fame nod

Ed Bradley and Bill McCagney will be inducted in RIIL Hall

BY MANUEL C. “MANNY” CORREIRA
Posted 10/23/19

Two of the greatest leaders in Barrington High School sports history will be inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League High School Athletic Hall of Fame this month.

Former coaching …

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Barrington coaching legends earn hall of fame nod

Ed Bradley and Bill McCagney will be inducted in RIIL Hall

Posted

Two of the greatest leaders in Barrington High School sports history will be inducted into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League High School Athletic Hall of Fame this month.

Former coaching legends Bill McCagney (football) and Ed Bradley (soccer) will be joining other distinguished athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, and a journalist during Class of 2019 induction ceremonies on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

A two-time All-State football and two-time All-League baseball player at Barrington High School in the early 1970s, as well as an All-Yankee Conference linebacker at URI, Bill McCagney coached football, baseball, and golf at Barrington High. Coach McCagney also served as a physical education teacher at Barrington Middle School for a number of years.

During his time as Barrington’s head football coach from 1990 to 2014, he guided the Eagles to seven league championships, two co-league championships, and five Super Bowl titles. He finished his football coaching career as the winningest coach in Eagles’ history.

“It was his passion for the game and his commitment to the kids,” said Barrington High School Director of Athletics and Student Activities George Finn, in a previous interview. “When football season came around, that was all-encompassing in his world. He really focused on the kids and really related to them well.”

Mr. Finn added, “The one thing I’ve said all these year is how he was able to get the best out of his players each year, from the pre-season to the end of the season. You saw this morphing effect. He determined what level his athletes were at and he built his team for that year based on their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve always seen his teams get better as the season moves forward. All of his coaches bought into the system. They enjoyed being part of that program. Working with Bill was a pleasure for all of them.”

What Coach McCagney accomplished on the football field, was pretty much the same what Ed Bradley did for the Barrington High School boys’ soccer teams during his tenure.

Coach Bradley served as the Barrington High School boys’ soccer coach for 13 years, guiding the Eagles to three state championships, one state runner-up finish, and seven league titles, and earned himself induction into the R.I. Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame. He later went on to coach the URI men’s soccer team to 10 Atlantic-10 titles and six NCAA tournament appearances.

A Providence native, Coach Bradley was a standout midfielder for Rhode Island during his playing days for coach Bob Butler, earning All-Yankee Conference honors in 1967. Coach Bradley went on to receive his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1968, and in 1972, he earned his master’s in guidance and counseling from Rhode Island College. Coach Bradley served as a Barrington Middle School physical education prior to Coach McCagney's tenure at that school.
Coach Bradley began his coaching career at Barrington High School in 1973. He had two separate stints at the school, leading the program from 1973 to 79 and from 1983 to 88. During his time there, Coach Bradley won three state championships and seven league titles while establishing Barrington as a nationally-ranked program.
He has held an A-License from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and an Advanced National License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He also has been involved with administering the state licensing program. Coach Bradley has conducted the Goal-4-Rams Youth Soccer Camps through the South County region. He was a 1989 inductee into the New England Hall of Fame and a 1991 inductee into the Rhode Island Athletic Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame in 2011, Coach Bradley is the winningest coach in URI men's soccer history, compiling a record of 192-127-22 over 17 seasons with the Rams.
Coach Bradley's career record of 219-146-36 at the collegiate level includes his mark of 27-9-14 at Rhode Island College over three seasons from 1980-82. He led the Anchormen to a berth in the ECAC playoffs in 1982.

Former Eagles’ soccer great Bill Baker remembers his old coach fondly.

“Coach Bradley was my high school soccer coach for my sophomore, junior, and senior years,” he said. “He is the coach that molded me into the athlete I was in high school because you believed in him, his knowledge, his system, and his no-nonsense coaching method. I carried his teachings into the other sports I played which made me better in those sports. His impact was immense. He was a great communicator. He knew soccer better than any of his coaching peers. He was better than my college soccer coaches.”

Mr. Baker continued, “Coach Bradley held everyone accountable in a fair and honest way according to their abilities and the team as a whole. He commanded respect through his even keel demeanor and expert knowledge of the game. You knew immediately he knew everything and that he was a cut above all the other coaches.”

Tying in their similarities, Mr. Baker remembers this particular incident: “Coach Bradley was the Phys. Ed. teacher at the Barrington Middle School. He had his soccer system in place at the high school. During gym class, all you saw was everyone playing soccer. Coach Bradley was weeding them out at that level for his system at the high school level. It drove the high school A.D. Larry Deschene nuts. When Coach Bradley retired, Larry Deschene, himself a football guy, made sure he hired a football guy to replace Coach Bradley. In comes Coach McCagney. What does he do? Takes a page out of Coach Ed Bradley's book and has all the kids at the middle school playing football during gym class for his system at the high school.

“Then, Barrington had some great football teams. By the way, Billy McCagney is still the hardest hitting football player I ever saw come out of Barrington High School. They were two great guys, two great coaches. Congratulations to both.”

Ticket information

Tickets for the RIIL Hall of Fame dinner are $50 per person and may be purchased online at: https://gofan.co/app/events/61483 or by contacting the RIIL Office at 401-272-9844. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the door. Table reservations are available in groups of 8 or 10.

The RIIL, the state high school athletic association, will honor the following athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and journalist for their distinguished contributions to R.I. high school athletics: David Belisle, Will Blackmon, Brian Boucher, Ed Bradley, Linda Cimino, Jerry Dandeneau, Bill Falk (posthumous), John Gillooly, David Harrington, Robert Littlefield, Chelsea Marandola, Bill McCagney, Deb McMullen, and Richard Stapleton.

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