Chelsea's Brad Bush is taking on a new role with the MHSAA


Brad Bush helped make Chelsea Athletics one of the best in the state. photo by Mike Williamson

Brad Bush has meant a lot to the Chelsea School District and community. For 26 years, he’s been a leader in the district, but he’s now moving on to a new opportunity with the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Both the MHSAA and CSD announced on Dec. 21 that Bush would become the new assistant director for the MHSAA, beginning Jan. 16.

CSD’s announcement said, “Chelsea High School Athletic Director and Assistant Principal, Brad Bush has accepted an Assistant Director position with the Michigan High School Athletic Association effective at the end of January. Mr. Bush has spent the past 26 years with the Chelsea School District as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and assistant principal. During his time in Chelsea, Mr. Bush has elevated Chelsea Athletics into one of the top athletic programs in the state. The Chelsea School District is indebted to Mr. Bush for his leadership, vision and dedicated service to our Bulldog community. Once a Bulldog, ALWAYS a Bulldog! Congratulations, Brad!”

The Sun Times News reached out to CSD Superitendent Michael Kapolka to ask him about Bush. Here’s his statement.

"Brad's dedicated service to the Chelsea School District over the last 26 years has set the bar extremely high for whomever steps into this role moving forward. Brad has truly lived the job for his entire career as a teacher, coach and administrator, which has made him an incredibly valued and respected member of our administrative team and Bulldog community. This new career opportunity with the MHSAA is a testament to his talents and overall passion for high school athletics. Brad will forever be a Bulldog and I am extremely proud of him." Senior Editor Geoff Kimmerly also put together an announcement for the MHSAA.

Here it is:

“Brad Bush, a highly-respected educator, administrator and coach over the last three decades, has been selected to serve in the position of assistant director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, beginning Jan. 16.

Bush, 52, taught and coached at East Kentwood High School for four years before beginning a tenure at Chelsea High School in 1997 that has included teaching, then serving as athletic director and later also assistant principal and leading the football program as varsity coach from 1997-2003 and again from 2004-18.

He also has served as a statewide delegate on the MHSAA Representative Council during the last year and provided leadership in multiple roles including president for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) since 2005.

Bush will serve as the MHSAA’s lead administrator for baseball and also among lead administrators for the officials program, which includes more than 8,000 registered officials in all sports. Bush also will be assigned additional duties in other sports based on his vast experiences. He was selected from a pool of 34 applicants.

“I’m incredibly excited to have Brad join our team,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. "He’s been an outstanding athletic director and coach who is highly-respected by those who know him.”

As Chelsea athletic director, Bush annually has supervised a staff of 110 coaches across 31 programs, with nearly 70 percent of the high school’s 800 students participating in athletics. As a teacher and assistant principal, he has served on Chelsea’s School Improvement Team and on multiple committees that provided instructional leadership including in the development of the district’s new trimester schedule. In his roles with the MHSFCA, Bush helped direct an organization with more than 2,200 members and also served as the association’s treasurer and liaison to the MHSAA.

Bush is perhaps best known, however, for his coaching success. Over 22 seasons, he led Chelsea’s varsity football team to a 169-60 record, 13 league championships, 18 playoff appearances, seven District titles and a Division 3 runner-up finish in 2015. During his break in tenure as Chelsea coach, Bush served as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator for Eastern Michigan University during the 2003-04 school year, and he has served as an assistant coach at Albion College the last four seasons contributing to the team’s two league titles and appearance in the 2021 NCAA Division III Playoffs.

“I feel like joining the team at the MHSAA is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Bush said. “The 26 years I spent at Chelsea were some of the best times of my life. It’s a professional transition that in the back of my mind, if this opportunity came, was something I needed to do.

“Over time, I’ve grown to care about the bigger picture of athletics and appreciate the role of the MHSAA in protecting high school athletics in Michigan.”

Bush is a 1988 graduate of Ypsilanti High School. He studied and played quarterback at Cornell University before returning and graduating from EMU after majoring in history and minoring in social studies. He earned his physical education endorsement from EMU in 2000 and his master’s in physical education and sports management from EMU in 2002. He has earned continuing education credits in sports management from Drake University and completed the Path to Leadership program from the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP).

Bush was inducted into MHSFCA Hall of Fame and Ypsilanti High School Hall of Fame both in 2019. He and his wife Laura have three adult children, two daughters and a son.”

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