It was obviously Tom's dream to replace Joe Paterno as head coach of Penn State. Despite being the ultimate Penn Stater for 30 years, and putting out top 10 defense after top 10 defense despite many horrible offenses that left his players on the field too long, he was the fourth or fifth choice - if he was ever really an option at all (I have my doubts). The guy that got the job had no HC experience, and there's a lot of doubt as to whether he's really a coordinator at all with the Patriots.
So clearly, working his way up the ladder and providing great value to the Program for many years was a poor choice in pursuit of his dream. It appears to me that loyalty is not only not rewarded, but is punished. It appears to me that he would have been better off opportunistically jumping from job to job until he got an HC spot somewhere and proved himself there - potentially harming PSU by taking recruits from his alma mater rather than bringing them here in the process, and even beating PSU on the field.
Also is NFL experience now a requirement for a college HC job? Would Bradley have been better off to get a 'quality control' job with the Steelers and work under Dick Lebeau than to serve PSU as defensive coordinator?
Is that what should he have done instead? Is it better to compete against and win against the organization you want to lead, rather than do everything you humanly can to make it successful while espousing its values? Is mild success outside of the organization valued more than great success within it? Should he have worked for PSU at all? If so at what point did he overstay a real shot at the Penn State HC shot? And could/should we apply this lesson to the pursuit of our own dreams?