Deanna Bradley serves as the athletic director at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and has fulfilled this role since she arrived at The Woods in 1991. Midway through the 1992-93 season, SMWC athletic offerings were canceled. In result, Bradley formed a task force committee to explore the potential benefits of athletics at SMWC. After a one-year hiatus, she began restoring the department by adding scholarships for student-athletes. In 1994-95, women’s basketball was introduced as the first-ever scholarship program. As of today, SMWC has 13 varsity athletic offerings.
In 1995, Bradley was honored as the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Employee of the Year.
In 1999-2000, she oversaw the transition from the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA) to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). This was a key component in the department's growth for athletics.
For 26 years, Bradley served as the women’s basketball head coach. She resigned on March 14, 2018, having led the Pomeroys in every season except two (2002-03, 2003-04). Bradley headed the program to a 1999-2000 NSCAA tournament appearance and a National Championship Runners-Up finish. Within the USCAA, five teams have qualified for the Division-I USCAA National Tournament (2001-02, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2017-18). She produced 35 USCAA All-Academic student-athletes, three USCAA First Team All-Americans, five USCAA Second Team All-Americans, four USCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans, and one GTE Academic All-American. Also, she has coached two players who were unanimously selected to the USCAA All-Tournament Team and two student-athletes who have entered the SMWC Hall of Fame.
Under her helm, the department has seen 32 postseason appearances, won an impressive 13 USCAA National Championships and finished as National Championship Runners-Up on 12 occasions. She examined the construction of the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center (JKSRC), which provides student-athletes and the campus community a top-notch sports and recreation experience.
She was an instrumental role in encouraging the institution to add men's athletics. By the 2015-16 season, the college made history and announced it would become coeducational.
Prior to arriving at SMWC, Bradley invested eight years at Delta Junction High School in Alaska. Leading the girls’ basketball team as the head coach, she recorded an overall record of 126-79. In addition, she was named Delta’s volleyball head coach. In 1986, she was dubbed Coach of the Year after leading both the girls’ basketball and volleyball team to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) State Championships. Bradley was named Coach of the Year Runner-Up in 1985 and 1987. While she hosted player’s camps from 1981-1988.
Deanna Bradley is a member of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame. She was inducted in 2006 and was the first female student-athlete from South Ripley High School in honor of that caliber. In 2017, Bradley was inducted into the Saint- Mary-of-the-Woods College Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Within the USCAA, she served as a member of the Board of Directors for six years (2007-2013). She was a huge advocate for the growth of the affiliation as she served on several committees and sub-committees to advance the USCAA in its most prominent time of growth.
Bradley was born in Seymour, Indiana and grew up in Holton, Indiana. She graduated as a four-sport student-athlete from South Ripley High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University (ISU) and a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University (WIU).