Chelsea, MI.- After 21 years on the sidelines shaping the future of young lives and winning football games, Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush has decided it’s time to walk away from the game he loves so much. It’s a decision he has wrestled with for several months and after discussion with friends and family, he made the tough decision.
“I feel like it is the best time for our football program and myself,” Bush stated. “There are many factors in the decision but when you know you know, and I think this is the best time.”
Bush made the announcement at a team meeting which shocked the players and when word got out, it was the talk of the whole community. Bush, who also has the role of Athletic Director, will be staying on in that position.
Bush, who is the longest-serving and all-time winningest coach in the esteemed Chelsea football history, finished with an outstanding record of 170 wins and 58 losses. Bush coached the Bulldogs to 7 District titles, and in 2015 led his team to the Class B State Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit. Bush also has the legacy of beating Chelsea’s arch-rivals Dexter in every year of his tenure with his Bulldogs.
When asked about his most memorable football memory with the Bulldogs Bush stated, “There are too many memories to pick just one out. I think in 1999 when we went to the playoffs for the first time when I was the head coach was very exciting. Obviously, going to Ford Field (state championship game) was very special also.”
Indeed it was special as the whole city of Chelsea turned out to support their Bulldogs. Ford Field was turned into a sea of Blue and Gold in the stands as the fans were as loyal to the football program as Bush has always been to his beloved Bulldogs.
“I will miss everything about it,” said Bush. “I love coaching and have a great passion for it. The relationships with the players and the coaches are very special to me. However, all of the aspects of the game and preparation I will sorely miss as well.”
Bush was always known as a big hands on “x’ & o’s” kind of coach. He could figure out other teams formations and counter with great plays of his own. He was known for knowing all the rules of the game, sometimes better than a few of the referees. Bush believed in putting the best players out on the field, no matter who they were or what their family name was and he always got more out of his players than many pundits would expect. He would not play favorites and would not hold back on discipline to players that deserved it no matter who they were. He also taught his players many life lessons including respect for the game and others and would help players with their recruiting process.
The search began on the day of his announcement for a new Head Coach. Bush is searching for the right kind of person who will fit in with the Chelsea community and the school. Bush has made it quite clear though that the great coaching staff he has assembled is staying.
“They will be working hard to help the new coach get started,” Bush stated. “I will not be a part of the team or on the sideline, however, I will do everything I can to support the new coach.”
Bush has stated that he has not ruled out coaching in the future. The former Cornell University quarterback knows football is in his blood and he has quite the passion for the game.
“I hope to coach again,” Bush said. “But for now this is the best thing for our program.”
Coach Bush is married to Laura Bush and has 3 children. Janie, who graduated from Chelsea in 2014, Jack, a 2017 graduate and who quarterbacked the Bulldogs to the State Championship game who now is the quarterback at Hope College, and Grace, who will graduate this year and stars on the Chelsea softball team.