SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah was mourning the loss of one of its own Wednesday, after associate professor Matthew "Bronco" Bradley died from an accident in his home Tuesday.
A medical examiner was working to determine a cause of death. Bradley, 41, was found dead in his hot tub late Tuesday, according to police. Sandy Police Sgt. Troy Arnold said there was nothing obvious about the death and he ruled out any foul play.
"This is a tremendous loss for our our campus and the community," said U. spokesman Keith Sterling. "Matt touched the lives of so many and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."
In addition to guest lecturing and teaching honors courses at the U., Bradley was an avid cyclist and community activist. He survived a bout with cancer, losing a foot and portion of his leg to the disease in the summer of 2010. Two weeks later, his 29-year-old sister-in-law, Bunny Bradley, was killed while cycling in Draper.
Following the tragic event, Bradley organized a fundraiser to build a paved bike trail in Draper.
Bradley co-directed the Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts, among other organizations, and spent time serving at the Bennion Boys Ranch in Idaho and helping high school film students. He inspired many Hispanic and Pacific Islander youth to pursue secondary education options. Bradley also encouraged students to be active in the community.
Dozens of friends, family members and former students posted remembrances of the well known man on his Facebook page Wednesday. "He was the kind of professor who was genuinely interested in what I had to say and he made me look at the world in a whole new way," wrote Jenny Jensen, a former student. "The world is a better place because of him."
Just last month, Bradley requested a referral for an electrician on Facebook, writing, "electrician recommendations?? i've got a small, but crucial job, my hot tub won't turn on!"
Bradley earned a degree in English from BYU. He went on to study culture, education and society at the U. and earned an advanced degree in folklore from Indiana University. In addition to writing courses, folklore was part of Bradley's teaching repertoire.
Wednesday, friends organized various events throughout the city, including a group bicycle ride in his honor, in which friends rode past Bradley's parents' home, saluting his family as they were gathered to mourn.