Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Sam Bernardi
Defensive Coordinator
2008-09 Football Coaches
Sam Bernardi

Sam Bernardi returned to the Valparaiso sidelines for the second time in his career prior to the 2006 season.  A member of the Crusader coaching staff from 1991-2004, he stepped away from the game of football for the 2005 season.

The Crusaders’ defensive coordinator, Bernardi also oversees the linebacking corps on a daily basis for the Brown and Gold.  He was promoted to associate head coach in 1999 after being named the defensive coordinator beginning in the 1995 season.  In addition, Bernardi serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Bernardi’s defensive corps ranked 11th in the nation in pass defense in 2008, allowing just 158.1 yards per game through the air.  The Crusaders also had a Pioneer Football League-leading 17 interceptions on the season.

In 2007, Bernardi’s defense ranked 12th nationally among all NCAA Division I-FCS schools averaging 2.73 sacks per game.  In addition, the Brown and Gold held opponents to just 123.3 yards per game on the ground, 20th best in the country.

Bernardi’s defense played an integral role during Valpo’s Pioneer Football League championship seasons of 2000 and 2003.  The 2003 defense led the league in sacks and ranked third in pass efficiency defense.  In 2004, Valpo led the PFL in passing defense.

Throughout his tenure on the staff, Valpo’s defense has been dominant.  The Crusaders led the PFL in total defense and rushing defense in 2000, while the 1999 squad tied for the top spot in NCAA I-AA in turnover margin.  That same season, Valparaiso led the PFL in rushing defense while the 1998 team led the league in total defense, turnover margin, and pass efficiency defense.

Prior to being named the defensive coordinator, Bernardi guided the secondary and special teams for the Brown and Gold for four seasons.  He had a major impact in the area of special teams, which enjoyed success each year.  In 1993, the special teams scored four touchdowns, three of which came after blocked punts.

Bernardi arrived at Valpo after assisting at Valparaiso High School from 1988-1990, where he tutored the defensive ends, tight ends, and helped with special teams.

He graduated from Indiana University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports marketing and management.  Sam and his wife, Heidi, have two children, Sam IV, born in 1999, and Sydney, born in 2001.

2008-09 Football
Football Coaches
Stacy Adams
Head Coach
Josh Wissing
Offensive Coordinator
Sam Bernardi
Defensive Coordinator
Joe Fussell
Assistant Coach
Cliff Glover
Assistant Coach
Gary Gray
Assistant Coach
Rob Hanson
Assistant Coach
Marcus Knight
Assistant Coach
Chip Taylor
Assistant Coach
Trevor Jaskiw
Student Assistant
M Soccer Lake Forest Brown Field
Aug 23, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
M Soccer Lewis Brown Field
Aug 25, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Football Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Aug 28, 6:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 29, 3:00 p.m. Wofford
M Soccer Valpo Raleigh, N.C.
Aug 29, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina State
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 2:00 p.m. Campbell
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina Central
M Soccer Valpo Davidson, N.C.
Aug 31, 3:00 p.m. Davidson
Volleyball IUPUI ARC
Sep 3, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 10:00 a.m. UMKC
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m. Stephen F. Austin
W CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m.
M CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:45 p.m.
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 6, 2:00 p.m. South Dakota State
Football Saint Joseph's (Ind.) Brown Field
Sep 6, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Soccer Valpo Indianapolis, Ind.
Sep 9, 6:00 p.m. Butler