Mark Bernardino Named Associate Head Coach
May 17, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Mark Bernardino, who led the University of Virginia to 27 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in 35 years as head coach from 1978-2013, has been named Associate Head Coach at the University of South Carolina, Gamecock head swimming and diving coach McGee Moody announced today.
“We are very excited about adding Mark to the staff,” Moody said. “He has a proven track record of success on the national and international stage. At South Carolina, our goal is to be one of the elite programs in the country and adding Mark to the staff brings us closer to that goal. We look forward to getting him on campus and getting to work.”
“I would like to thank Coach McGee Moody, the University of South Carolina swim staff, and the University of South Carolina Athletic Department for the opportunity to join their swim program,” Bernardino said. “I am dedicated to providing a student-athlete with the best academic and athletic experience possible and I intend to work diligently with Coach Moody and the USC swimming and diving staff and athletes in realizing their immediate and future goals. The SEC is the premier swimming and diving conference in the country and it will be an honor to compete against these great coaches and athletes.”
Bernardino’s 27 ACC Championships includes six consecutive men’s and women’s titles are both ACC swimming and diving records. He holds the record for most men’s titles in conference history with 16 and has the second-most women’s crowns in ACC history with 11.
Prior to his departure in 2013, Bernardino had guided at least one Cavalier to every Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games, including 2012 in London, when five current, former and incoming student-athletes competed.
With the five in 2012, Bernardino has coached 12 student-athletes to compete at the Olympic level, including Katya Bachrouche (Lebanon) and David Karasek (Switzerland), who set national records for their respective countries at the London Games. Four of his former athletes, Matt McLean, Ed Moses, Lauren Perdue and Melanie Valerio have captured Olympic gold.
In addition to Olympians, he has coached athletes who competed in the World University Games, the Pan American Games, the Pan Pacific Games and the World Swimming Championships. In 2009, Bernardino was selected as the men’s coach for the USA for the World University Games, where the U.S. team won four gold, seven silver and one bronze. He also served as the head coach for USA swimming in the summer of 2001 at the World University Games in Beijing, China, leading the USA to a competition-best 17 medals, including seven gold.
Bernardino is also a longtime member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff and has been a panelist for the CSCAA top-25 poll. In 1996, Bernardino was named an advisory coach for the U.S. Olympic Team. He also served as a member of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Committee from 2000-04.
At Virginia, Bernardino tutored 98 individual All-Americans (earning 205 honors), 124 All-American relays and four NCAA Champions who won a total of six individual national titles.
Under Bernardino’s guidance, 18 student-athletes earned ACC Swimmer of the Year honors for a total of 26 times. Sixteen first-years had received the ACC Freshman of the Year award, and he was named the ACC Coach of the Year 31 times, 18 on the men’s side and 13 on the women’s.
He received his bachelor’s degree from UVa’s McIntire School of Commerce in 1974. After two years as a sales representative for Procter & Gamble, he returned to Virginia in 1976 and served as an assistant coach for the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons. He earned his master’s degree in counseling from the Curry School of Education in 1978 before his appointment as head coach.
As a swimmer, he graduated with six program records and earned the 1974 UVa Male Athlete of the Year Award. He qualified for three NCAA Championships and the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials.