Harvest Christian Academy has fired boys basketball coach Andre White Sr. and hired Prairie Ridge assistant Bryan Bradshaw as its next coach, athletic director David Lockwood confirmed Friday.
White Sr. coached at the Elgin private school for one season. He guided a team fortified by three high-level transfer players, including Andre White Jr., to a 25-5 record. The Lions won an undefeated title in the Northeastern Athletic Conference and a Class 1A regional title before bowing out in a sectional semifinal.
White Sr.'s team played with a brash, take-no-mercy style, which included pushing the ball up the court regardless of the score. The Lions defeated Illinois Math and Science Academy 104-47, the Keith School 102-25 and Alden-Hebron 107-38. He defended the aggressive approach after a late-January game.
"I'm of the philosophy of play the game until the buzzer goes off," said White Sr., who graduated from Zion-Benton in 2003 as that program's leading scorer. "A lot of teams may quit. We're not going to quit because, for one, we're not where we want to be right now."
The no-prisoners approach ultimately did not meld with Lockwood's long-term plan for athletics at Harvest Christian Academy.
"We weren't seeing eye to eye and my expectations weren't being met as for as the vision I have for the athletic program here and the standards," Lockwood said. "It's more than basketball here. Therefore, I need to always make sure that we are holding to that standard and that vision."
White Sr. did not return a call seeking comment.
The program turns to Bradshaw, 26, who serves as a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel. A 2008 Prairie Ridge graduate, he has spent the last three seasons as a varsity assistant to PR coach Corky Card.
Bradshaw comes from a family with deep athletic ties. His grandfather, Bob Bradshaw, was the head football coach at Woodstock for 25 years and directed the Blue Streaks to a Class 4A state title in 1983. His father, Greg, played quarterback at Northwestern from 1985-88. His uncle, Lance Huber, is the boys basketball coach at Dundee-Crown.
Bradshaw played quarterback for four years at Winona State and has spent the last year pursuing a Master's degree at Liberty University. He said he is "excited" for the opportunity to coach the Lions.
"As a program last year they had a successful year so my hope is to continue to build on that under my leadership," Bradshaw said Friday. "I also want to continue to instill the character and integrity that we want to play the game with and lead our lives with at the same time. That's one of the things that's important to me. I grew up that way, was taught that and had it demonstrated through my coaches and the people I've grown up around."