Former Swimmers Question UVa Head Coach Mark Bernardino's Abrupt Retirement
Monday, UVA swimming coach Mark Bernardino announced that he would be retiring, but former Virginia swimmers are calling his retirement abrupt and out of character. They don't think Bernardino voluntarily retired.
After the announcement, a school spokesperson said that Bernardino would not be available to talk to the media.
An alumni group is trying to achieve clarity and calling for an immediate freeze on the search for a new coach while they try to get a meeting with Virginia President, Teresa Sullivan.
The former swimmers also launched a facebook page and it currently has more than 800 likes.
Bernardino has led the 'Hoos for 35 years and is the longest tenured coach at UVa. His 27 Conference Championships are the most in ACC history.
Virginia Swim and Dive alum, Scot Robison, says he's seen Bernardino since the announcement but the former UVA coach can't talk to him about it. Robison is a decorated UVa alum. Some of his achievements include the following: 2011 World Championship bronze medalist, 2011 Pan American Games Gold medalist, 20 time NCAA All-American.
Robinson said, "Absolute shock. It came completely out of nowhere. Coach Bernardino is like a father to me. Just immediately, I thought something must be wrong. Mark would be the first one to reach out to anyone and say this is what I want, respect that. He'd reach out to me. He'd reach out to anyone and feel comfortable saying that. That's just the kind of guy he is. This is extremely inconsistent with his character to say I can't speak about this."
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