Bradley Kimbrough Named Softball Head Coach At James Clemens
MADISON- Building an athletic program is like erecting a building as it takes time brick after brick. If Bradley Kimbrough’s high energy personality and enthusiasm for the sport of softball is any indication what to expect from the 39-year old, look for the James Clemens softball program to rise high as a skyscraper in local softball sooner than later.
“I plan on building something big here as I’m excited about the plan we will have here at James Clemens,” said Kimbrough.
He was recently chosen from among 27 applicants as the new head coach of the softball program after the departure of three-year head coach Brittany Vintson who chose to leave coaching for a job with the FBI.
Kimbrough comes to the Jets with experience in both high school and college coaching, as well as, business owner of the RPO Academy, which he ran from 2016 to 2020 as an instructor, consultant and mentor for coaches of all levels of athletics. He chose to leave coaching in 2016 to be a father fulltime for his two children now ages 15 and 16, but COVID did away with his business venture and he knew deep inside he wanted to return to high school coaching.
A graduate of Sheffield High in 2000, Kimbrough earned his education degree from Athens State University and a masters in instructional leadership from West Alabama College. His first softball coaching experience came at Huntsville High for two seasons as both as an assistant and head coach from 2009-2011. He chose to return to his alma mater in 2011 where he coached the softball program at his former high school through 2016 when he also coached one season as an assistant at the University of North Alabama before his decision to tend more to his family.
He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and was a heads-up baseball player as a catcher and from age 20 planned on being a head football coach, but his first coaching experience at Huntsville High seemed to draw him to love the efforts of coaching softball instead. Kimbrough added, “Coaching softball was the most fun I ever had as a coach and I absolutely fell in love with the game as the sport was still growing at that time. I don’t intend to coach any other sport as I’ve become a softball guy. Others perceive that of me and it fits.”
Away from the softball diamond Kimbrough is an avid golfer and tennis player where along the nets of the tennis court he’s rated a 3.5.
When James Clemens first was built and opened its doors in 2012, Kimbrough applied for the job as head coach, but he sees now the timing just wasn’t right. Today, the position fits him and he feels he fits the position that includes great administration support. This summer he and his players are grasping the change and his goal is get to work as he truly feels his teams will not be out-worked by any competitor.
“I’m truly organized and intent,” said Kimbrough. “I’m a firm believer everything has a purpose as the biggest thing many coaches lose sight of is the fact softball is a game and the girls want to have fun. I try not to chain the players from having that fun and I try and find ways to help their own set of skills.”
Kimbrough enjoyed his break from fulltime coaching and felt his RPO Academy was the glue that kept him involved with high school athletics and somehow knowing he would return to teaching social studies and coaching softball. He chose the Madison City School System as he felt he wanted to be a part of the best system in North Alabama.
“I would not have taken the position as a softball coach at any school other than James Clemens,” said Kimbrough. “Teaching is the greatest job in the world as where else can you teach a subject you enjoy and have a huge impact on young people. Besides, the youngsters keep you young.”