Former Fayetteville High star Nick Bradford has hired as an Arkansas women’s basketball assistant

FAYETTEVILLE – Nick Bradford, a former Fayetteville High School basketball standout who played at Kansas, was announced Monday as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Arkansas.

Bradford, 45, spent last year as an assistant coach at Wichita State under Terry Nooner, his former Kansas teammate. At Arkansas he will replace Pauline Love, who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator before leaving April 19 for the same role at Alabama.

Bradford is no stranger to Fayetteville. He returned to his high school alma mater in 2019 to be an assistant boys coach under Brad Stamps, a position he held for four years before leaving for Wichita State.

“With today’s addition of Nick Bradford, we have added a Fayetteville native who has built his coaching reputation to help grow women’s basketball in the area and region,” Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors said in a release announcing employment. “His grassroots experience has led him to work in Wichita State women’s basketball as he has built relationships every step of the way.”

“I am truly honored to be on the Coach Neighbors staff and to learn from a coach who has been to the Final Four,” Bradford said in a statement. “I look forward to helping these young ladies grow on and off the field. Being from Fayetteville, I definitely have a sense of pride in doing my best for the Arkansas women’s basketball program and continuing to build the Coach Neighbors program! I appreciate him and this opportunity!”

Bradford played at Kansas from 1996-2000 under coach Roy Williams. Bradford was a three-time Big 12 champion and played in 140 games as a Jayhawk.

As a senior, he was named captain on a Kansas team that included Nick Collison, Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich, who all went on to long NBA careers. As a freshman, Bradford was roommates with Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame small forward/guard Paul Pierce.

Bradford played professionally for the Kansas City Knights of the American Basketball Association (2001–03) before an eight-year career in Europe.

He began his coaching career at Labette (Kan.) Community College as an assistant men’s basketball coach from 2011-2013. Bradford was an assistant men’s coach at Missouri Southern State from 2013-2015.

Bradford was the boys head coach at Mexico (Mo.) High School for one season and spent two years as the girls head coach at Olathe (Kan.) North High School. He then moved to Fayetteville.

Neighbors was the head girls basketball coach at Bentonville High School and Cabot High School while Bradford played at Fayetteville. Bradford was named the Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year in 1996 and was inducted into the FHS Hall of Fame in 2021.

Coaching changes have been rare in Neighbors’ eight seasons as the Razorbacks’ head coach. Associate head coach Todd Schaefer was on Neighbors’ original staff, as was Lacey Goldwire, who is entering her sixth season with Arkansas.

Goldwire spent 2017-19 with the Razorbacks before leaving to be an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Tennessee under former Lady Vols coach Kellie Harper. She was replaced at Arkansas by Chantel Osahor before Goldwire returns in 2021.

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