In recognition of Black History Month, United States Sports Academy chair of sports management Dr. Brandon Spradley is writing a series of historical pieces dedicated to former black athletes and coaches from Mobile, Ala., for the institution’s daily sports blog, The Sport Digest.
Spradley earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the Academy. In 2013, Spradley partnered with the Mobile County Training School (MCTS) Alumni Association to capture the unsung stories of key figures from that school. In continuing his dedication to that project, Spradley has written a series of articles for The Sport Digest, the Academy’s blog dedicated to contemporary issues in sport.
Spradley’s articles highlight three key people who were represented in the project: Theodore Spradley III, Curtis Horton Sr., and Larry Shears. Spradley also wrote a Sport Digest article highlighting the Academy’s previous connections to MCTS.
“These pieces are very important to me,” Spradley said. “I know each person on a personal level, one being my father who was the best coach I’ve ever had. There is a lot of great history at Mobile County Training School and my goal was to simply highlight some of that history and share it with the world.”
The first three of Spradley’s pieces were published to the Digest in late January and early February. They can be found here, along with Spradley’s other published articles. The fourth article will be published on Thursday, 14 January 2019.
Spradley is a product of the Mobile County Public School System and a former track and field sprinter at LeFlore High School. He went on to run track at the University of Alabama, where he completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees. He was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier and a two-time NCAA national qualifier in track and field running on nationally ranked relay teams in 2009 and 2010.
Spradley’s Academy dissertation focused on concussion awareness and education. He researched the King-Devick Test, a groundbreaking method for identifying athletes with head trauma. The test provides athletes with a baseline reading that athletic trainers and doctors can then use as a gauge to test athletes after a possible concussive event.
Spradley has been a key member of a team of Academy faculty who have played a role in encouraging and implementing concussion research and education programs across Baldwin and Mobile counties on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, including a program in concert with the University of South Alabama to mitigate the impact of concussion among football players in the Mobile County Public School System. Spradley also spent time previously serving as the Academy’s director of continuing education working on international programs and special projects. He has been to Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates on international assignments helping to teach and develop sport education programs across the world.