Coach Joseph W. Bernal is an American swimming coach and one of the America's most successful and innovative age-group and elite coaches in history. He founded Bernal's Gator Swim Club in New York.
Bernal has over 30 years of experience in coaching and developing elite athletes and has established New England’s most successful comprehensive competitive swim program to develop and train young athletes, as well as prepare them for future athletic opportunities and acceptance at major universities.
He has coached and achieved excellent results at Harvard University and Fordham University, winning numerous Ivy League and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association Swimming Championships and has produced over 40 N.C.A.A. Collegiate Division I All Americans and two National Swimming Champions.
He has been the head coach of the USA Swimming National Team. He creates comprehensive individualized training programs which improve physical prowess, technique and confidence as well as build mental and emotional strength and has consulted in design of various training programs, lectured and conducted clinics through out North and South America.
He turned a downtrodden program into 7 consecutive Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming Championships and won several Coach of the Year honors, the Vince Lombardi Trophy for Coaching Excellence in 1976, and was inducted into the Fordham University Hall of Fame. He also started the first Fordham women’s swim team.
Bernal coached two National N.C.A.A. Division I Champions and achieved a 90% winning percentage over 15 years, easily the best in the Ivy League. He won 7 Ivy League Coach of the Year honors while developing more than 40 N.C.A.A. Division 1 All-Americans and six Olympic champions.
He was named on the USA Olympic Swimming Coaching staff for the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games and the USA Coach for the 1991 Pan American Games. Bernal has coached six Olympians including Bobby Hackett (1976), Ray Carey (1996), Scott Jaffe (1996), and David Berkoff (1988 & 1992).
Bernal’s Gator Swim Club
Bernal's Gator Swim Club is New England’s most successful swim program with its graduating seniors participating in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials, [[USA Swimming National Championships, and swimming at schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Florida and Cal Berkeley.
Bernal revolutionized the fifth stroke with the dolphin kick for strokes, starts, turns and zones. He revolutionized the dolphin kick and turning zones for backstroke and butterfly, which resulted in rule changes and new NCAA and world records. He first revolutionized the sport of swimming together with Olympic champion David Berkoff.
Dolphin Kick Videos
Olympic Swimming Success
Coach Bernal has developed and coached 6 Olympic champions and was on the coaching staff for the XXIV Olympic games: Bobby Hackett (silver medal in 1500m freestyle) at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, David Berkoff (gold and silver medals in backstroke) at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and (gold and silver medals in backstroke) 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games; Ray Carey at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Scott Jaffe (bronze medal in 800m freestyle relay) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games).