Q&A with Bradley Spencer
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m from Lonoke, Arkansas. I grew up playing baseball and basketball, but I grew a little taller than I thought I would and eventually gave up baseball for basketball. I played on many teams that were tough and in winning programs with high expectations. There was pressure, but it was fun. I learned from some great coaches how to work and that hard work beats talent any day.
Tell us about your experience playing basketball at Harding.
Harding was a great place — I loved everything about it. It helped me with my faith and taught me how to be a man of God. Jeff Morgan was a great role model. He took a lot of us under his wing and taught us how to be fathers and great husbands. And he taught us some really great values along with basketball.
Speaking of fathers, your daughter Olivia was born in August. Tell us a little bit about her.
She’s great. She’s growing fast — faster than I imagined any baby could grow. I figured out there’s no way you can prepare 100% before they’re born. Everything’s unexpected — you just learn as you go. It’s a blessing to go home to see God’s creation sitting there. You wonder how in the world that happened.
And your wife?
Makala is a speech pathologist. She just accepted a job at Easter Seals to be a little closer to the school. She loves kids. She loves working with kids with disabilities — that’s her passion. She really enjoys serving and helping out that way.
What is your best memory from helping coach the Mustangs this season?
The greatest moment was playing against Lonoke, my alma mater, at the district tournament. We had to win that game to keep the season alive. It was a tough battle. We were down three points when Kamryn Vick stepped up and knocked down a huge three-pointer and took us into overtime. The guys did everything they possibly could until the clock hit zero. We ended up winning and advancing to regionals. That was probably the highlight of the season — just seeing the guys take everything they learned this year and lay it on the line. That’s something that’s going to stick with me.
What do you look forward to most next season?
I look forward to continuing my relationship with the guys. We laid the foundation this year, and I would really like for us to build a stronger bond. They’re learning about having each others’ backs on the court and in life and about growing as a team and family. It’s great just being with this group of guys who are hungry and driven to succeed and having fun doing it.
Also being around the coaching staff here and learning from them. Coach Q has been a great mentor for me this year. He has taken me in and helped me grow as a basketball coach, from player communication to on-court decision-making. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to pick his brain throughout the year. He is a legend and I was thrilled about having the opportunity to work alongside one of the greats.
What classes do you teach/sport do you coach?
I coach cross country, and I teach junior high strength and performance, sixth grade P.E., and seventh grade rotation period where we do basketball and P.E. I also taught computer programming in the fall and am now teaching web design.
I really enjoy teaching — I have a passion for it. That’s something else that makes being here and this job a great fit for me.
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
I was not born with this gray spot on my head. It appeared out of nowhere while we were in the state tournament my junior year in high school. I was embarrassed, so a permanent marker was my best friend — I would color the spot in. But one game, I forgot and wiped my head with a towel, and the marker came right off. And that’s when everyone found out I have a gray spot.