LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – One of the most legendary high school football figures in the state of New Mexico has decided to hang up the whistle.
Michael Bradley, who coached Mayfield to three state championships and four runner-up finishes in 17 seasons with the Trojans, retired on Tuesday in ceremony in Las Cruces attended by family and friends.
“I’ve ran the course. I’ve done all I can. I’ve coached a ton of young men and I think it’s time for me to bow out and for somebody else to come in and take over the reins, maybe someone who has more energy than me at this point,” Bradley said.
It’s an announcement that Bradley had been thinking about for the last few years and after wrapping up the 2022 season, Bradley decided the time was finally right.
Bradley, 59, compiled a record of 139-61 in his 17 seasons with the Trojans; he took over for his father, Jim Bradley, after the Trojans won it all in 2005 and promptly led Mayfield to state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2010. Bradley said at his retirement that the 2010 team was his favorite that he ever coached.
Between Michael and his father, Jim, the Bradley family has been in charge of the Mayfield football team for over 30 years.
Bradley was named the New Mexico Coach of the Year by KRQE in 2010 and was inducted into the New Mexico Hall of Honor in 2019.
“I’d like to have some free time, just like anybody that wants to retire and move forward. I’m always going to be around, but it’s time for someone else to take the reins,” Bradley said.
Mayfield went 5-7 in Bradley’s final season at the helm in 2022, losing to Piedra Vista in the Class 5A State Quarterfinals. Redistricting and the addition of other schools in Las Cruces has dramatically affected the Trojans’ success in the last decade.
Mayfield will conduct a coaching search to find the next man for the job, but it’s possible that a member of the Bradley family will stay in charge of the Trojans.
Michael’s brother, Gary, served as Mayfield’s offensive coordinator in 2022 after coming over from Carlsbad, where he was the head coach.
Bradley said he didn’t have any big plans yet, though he does hope to stay around the game in some capacity. Relaxation will also be a key.
“Where I’d really like to be is at the lake,” Bradley said with a laugh. “I picture going to some games next year and wean myself away eventually, but I’ve got to find something else to do.”