Bernhardt arrives in Springfield after spending the past five seasons at University of Buffalo. He served as the assistant men's and women's coach for the NCAA Division I program from 2011-15, and most recently was the associate head coach from 2015-16.
In his first season leading the Tigers, both the men's and women's programs were among a record 720 teams to achieve CSCAA Scholar All-America by recording at least a 3.0 grade point average during the semester.
While at Buffalo, Bernhardt saw his student-athletes achieve success in and out of the pool, including 34 MAC Champions, 19 MAC Relay Champions, and one NCAA Honorable Mention All-American nomination. He also helped his teams shatter 46 university records, 13 MAC records, and 80 NCAA B-Cut times.
Bernhardt's tutelage also resulted in five of his swimmers earning NCAA invites, 12 qualifying for the Olympic Trials, 16 MAC Swimmer of the Week Honors, as well as one University of Buffalo Athlete of the Year honoree.
Bernhardt went to the Buffalo Bulls after a successful stint with the South Bend, IN based Irish Aquatics Swim Club. Bernhardt produced three national and 10 junior national qualifiers. Within the state of Indiana, he coached four senior state champions, 24 age group state champions and a total of 32 high school state finalists. He also served on the Indiana Swimming Board of Directors and was a state and region coaches representative.
Bernhardt also worked as a volunteer assistant with the University of Notre Dame women's program in 2009 and Northwestern University's men's and women's teams from 2003-2005. While with the Fighting Irish, he helped produce four NCAA qualifiers, 14 Big East champions, four Big East Championship records, 10 school records and the 2010 Big East Swimmer of the Year, Samantha Maxwell. With the Wildcats, he helped produce an NCAA national champion, 15 NCAA qualifiers, 36 NCAA All-Americans, 12 Big Ten champions, 10 Big Ten records and 13 school records. While in Evanston, he was also the head coach and CEO for the NASA/Wildcat Aquatics club program.
Bernhardt is a 2002 graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. As a member of the Hoosier swim team, he was a Big Ten Championship finalist in 100- and 200-yard backstrokes in 2000 and 2001 and a 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in both events as a well as a Spring Nationals finalist in both events in 2001.
Best conference finish (men): 9th
Best conference finish (women): 7th