Touching Down Back Home

The history of athletics at Bradley is as rich as our academic roots. There is no better testament to this heritage than the Bradley Football team. Established in 1897 and discontinued in 1970, members from this program continue to carry the team’s history all the way into 2023 by coming together for a remarkable football reunion weekend.

Former team players and family members gathered to share memories, and create new ones. They reflected on team legends like “Rocket” Ray Ramsey and Harry Jacobs, who carried their athletic careers into the pros, as well as others such as coach Billy Stone, who have a lasting legacy at Bradley. The Voice of the Braves, Dave Snell, served as the emcee throughout this first night of the reunion.

As part of their reunion, they attended the Bradley baseball game at Dozer Park where the first pitch was thrown out by team members. Throughout the game, the football team was highlighted with appreciation videos, photos and even trivia.

While the last game may have been over 50 years ago, the impact of the Bradley football team is still cherished. This program was a key part of the athletics department and Vice President Chris Reynolds summed up these sentiments: “Without the alumni and friends who keep Bradley’s history alive, future students and new university members would never know about those who helped shape our school identity, like the Bradley football team.”