HARTFORD -- A retired state trooper who directs security for the NFL was named Wednesday by Gov.-elect Dannel Malloy to be the next commissioner of Public Safety.

Reuben Bradford, who formerly commanded Troop G, which covers Greenwich to Branford, was called a "great and seasoned leader" by Malloy during a news conference.

"It is truly and honor to come full circle," Bradford told reporters.

Bradford, who rose to the rank of major in the State Police, will not join the Malloy administration after the Super Bowl.

The 64-year-old Bradford, who is in his 15th season, oversees the entire football league's security. He anticipated retiring next August, but the lure of public service beckoned. He said the commissioner pay is "substantially less" than his current salary.

Bradford, an African-American who recalled overcoming racism while in the State Police, also has a motor-neuron disease that affects his balance.

As a retired state trooper, Bradford, who lives in Glastonbury, gets a $3,069 monthly pension, according to a state database.