Sport Management alumna discusses her career in college athletics

Abby Bradbury ’13 works in the athletics department at the University of California, Berkeley, and shared her personal and professional insights with Associate Professor Hal Walker’s Contemporary Sport Management class.

While Abby Bradbury ’13 can’t technically claim responsibility for the victories the California Golden Bears football team earns this season, she’s been instrumental in making sure each player has a chance to see the field.

Abby Bradbury ’13 discusses her career path with this semester's “Contemporary Sport Management” class.
A sport management major at Elon, Bradbury now serves as director of recruiting and eligibility at University of California, Berkeley, overseeing the athletics recruitment for all 30 of the school’s varsity sports. In her role, she reviews applicants through the evaluation of transcripts and international records for NCAA academic eligibility and university admissions. Additionally, she plans, organizes and runs numerous department-wide recruiting events.

As luck would have it, Bradbury’s Golden Bears kicked off the 2017 football season with a road matchup against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. (California prevailed in the close matchup, 35-30.) The game provided her with an excuse to travel east, just a short drive from her alma mater.

With an afternoon free, Bradbury visited Associate Professor Hal Walker’s Contemporary Sport Management class on Sept. 1, talking at length about her start and career path in college athletics. The Colorado native detailed her own athletic career, which was cut short by a series of injuries, and the decisions she made at Elon and afterward that led her to California.

Students look on as Bradbury details her role with the athletics department at the University of California, Berkeley.
​Since summer 2013, Bradbury has held several positions with the Pac-12 institution, beginning with an internship on California’s Athletic Event Management team. In the years since, she’s held the titles of athletics event manager, director of operations for women’s lacrosse, and athletics recruiting and eligibility coordinator. She was named director of recruiting in October 2016.

While speaking to the class, Bradbury namedropped a few prominent Golden Bear student-athletes she has formed relationships with, including five-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and 2016 NBA first-round pick Jaylen Brown. While she noted she’s always been drawn to sports, Bradbury said the most rewarding part of her job is the personal relationships she’s made off the field.