via PBA press release by Nick Sheehy, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.– The Palm Beach Atlantic men’s lacrosse team has added Brett Bernardo as an assistant coach. Bernardo brings over a decade of collegiate playing and coaching experience to PBA.
“Brett was a standout offensive player (midfield) in college and has experience coaching both offense and defense in his coaching opportunities within his career,” said head coach Jesse Vanatta. “At PBA, we intend to utilize his experience coaching both sides of the ball as well and become very involved in the recruiting process for future Sailfish.”
Bernardo comes to the Sailfish from Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, PA where he developed and fostered a competitive culture. As an assistant coach, Bernardo managed the defense and goalies. He led film breakdowns, scouts, practice plans, and team building events. Additionally, Bernardo organized recruiting camps and brought in 15 players to the team in 2022. Prior to his role at Messiah University, Bernardo served as an assistant lacrosse coach for Grove City College in Grove City, PA. During the ’21 season, the Wolverines went 11-2, won the PAC Championship, and they received a berth to the 1st round of the NCAA D3 tournament. That season, Bernardo’s defensive unit held opponents to 6.93 goals against average.
Additionally, Bernardo spent three years as an assistant lacrosse coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. At Liberty, Bernardo primarily led the offense and structured practice plans. The Flames were ranked as high as 5th in the nation in MCLA D1. The Flames average goals per game grew from 13.73 to 16.18 during his tenure. Bernardo coached up seven MCLA All-Americans, and 13 All-Conference Players.
In 2015 Bernardo served as a Fellows Program Intern for Fellowship of Christian Athletes lacrosse (FCA) in Baltimore, Maryland. He handled interpersonal communications and relations with parents, students, and other leaders and worked with coaches to run camps and various summer teams.
“I am thankful for Coach Vanatta giving me the opportunity to work at a university like this,” Bernardo said. “I’m excited to work with a talented group, as well as see how God continues to move through this program.”
As a player, Bernardo was an NCAA Division I lacrosse player at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He later transferred to Liberty as a redshirt sophomore. Bernardo was the team captain for two years and was named a 2015 & 2016 MCLA 1st Team All-American and was awarded the 2015 SELC Offensive Player of the Year. Bernardo scored 45 goals and distributed 24 assists that year.
The former MCLA All-American received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration from Liberty in 2016.