Mark Bernardino's tenure as the swimming and diving coach at Virginia came to an end on Monday.
The school issued a release Monday afternoon announcing that after 35 years, Bernardino was retiring as head coach. Bernardino had been the longest-tenured head coach at UVa, and his 27 ACC championships are the most in conference history.
At least one Bernardino-coached swimmer competed at every Olympics since the 1996 Games, including a pair of gold medal winners last summer -- Lauren Perdue and Matt McLean.
“It is a difficult day filled with mixed emotions and I have not come to this decision lightly," Bernardino said in the school's release. "This job and this University, along with my family, have been my life and my passion for nearly as long as I can remember. But I come to this decision with confidence in the future.”
Bernardino's full statement can be read here.
On Monday night, McLean released a statement to Swimming World.
"It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to swim under Mark Bernardino," McLean's statement opened. "His passion and tenacity for the sport are matched only by his honor, loyalty and integrity, which are some of the hallmark attributes that he works to instill in his athletes."
The Cavaliers have won six consecutive ACC titles in both men's and women's swimming and diving, giving Bernardino 16 men's title championships and 11 women's titles. Those 16 men's conference titles are the most in conference history, while the 11 women's championships are the second-highest total in league history.
Bernardino also earned ACC coach of the year honors 31 times -- 18 on the men's side and 13 on the women's -- and coached 18 swimmers who won ACC swimmer of the year a total of 26 times.
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