New Haven, Conn. – Director of Athletics Jim Abromaitis accepted the resignation of Albertus Magnus head men's soccer coach Jim Bernardo earlier this month, as he looks to spend more time with his family.
"It's tough to put in words what Jim has meant to the soccer program and to the college", said Abromaitis. "His commitment to the school, the team and to each and everyone who played for him was second to none."
"Coach Bernardo did great job transitioning the program when he took over," said Nicholas Wajnowski, Associate Director of Athletics, Class of 2005. "As an alum you want to see the program get better each year in one form or another. The men's soccer program is in a better place than it was when he took over."
After becoming the program's second head coach in the summer of 2005, Bernardo was an instrumental role in the rise of Albertus Magnus soccer, where he posted a 125-94-11 overall record and a 60-41-8 mark in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).
The two time GNAC Coach of the Year guided his teams to 12 straight GNAC postseason appearances as well as the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012. In 2011, Bernardo led his team to a perfect 10-0 record in conference play and finished the season with a 17-4-1 overall record to mark the most single-season wins in program history.
Over his tenure, the Falcons have seen 40 All-Conference selections, two All-Americans, 10 All-New England honorees, three GNAC Rookies of the Year, two Defensive Players of the Year and an Offensive Player of the Year.
As a student-athlete, Bernardo was a four-year starting goalkeeper for Albertus Magnus Hall of Fame head coach George Bedocs from 1994-97 and was a captain of the 1997 team. He earned GNAC All-Conference Second Team honors in 1997 and All-Tournament honors in 1996 and was the starting goalkeeper on the 1996 GNAC Championship team, which was inducted into the Albertus Magnus Hall of Fame in 2009.
"Coach Bernardo was great to play for, he truly cared about every player that put on that Albertus jersey and that is what made him the ultimate player's coach" - Pete Hamasian, former player Class of 2011.
"Jim Bernardo took a good soccer program founded by George Bedocs and Frank Raio and established one of the top programs in New England. The quality of players that Jim has been able to recruit has been most impressive. Players want to play for Jim and truly love the direct attacking style offense and total team commitment on defense. Jim has even worked to leave the program in the best hands with Brett Calavolpe who will lead the team to even bigger accomplishments. It's bittersweet, sad to see Jim move on, but I am excited to see where the program will go next. One think I do know is the great culture of the men's soccer program and it's alumni will continue for a very long time." Dan O'Connor, former Teammate at Albertus, Class of 2000.
"Coach Bernardo was the hardest working coach, and was most loyal to his players that I have ever seen. He was a consummate competitor and helped this program contend for championships every year that he was head coach" - Brett Colavolpe, former player Class of 2007
Assistant coach Brett Colavolpe has been named the new head coach of the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team, announced earlier this week.