Controversial Former Olympic Coach Joe Bernal Dies

Joe Bernal, an accomplished but controversial coach who received a lifetime ban from USA Swimming in 2016, died on Saturday night, according to a F...

October 3, 2022
12:30 AM

Joe Bernal, an accomplished but controversial coach who received a lifetime ban from USA Swimming in 2016, died on Saturday night, according to a Facebook post by his daughter, Michelle Sweeney.  Bernal gained notoriety early in his career for transforming a lowly Fordham University men's swim team into a dominant squad that won seven Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming Championships in a row. He also started Fordham's first women's swim team.  After 12 years at Fordham, Bernal became head coach at Harvard in the late 1970s, mentoring a pair of Olympic medalists in David Berkoff and Bobby Hackett.

Riley Overend