Football Coaching Staff
Joe Bernard
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach
Alma Mater: Moravian College
Graduating Year: 1985
Phone: (518) 442-3052

Joe Bernard enters his sixth season at UAlbany in 2019. He is the Great Danes' co-defensive coordinator, special-teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.

Prior to becoming co-defensive coordinator and special-teams coordinator in 2018, he had served as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach since 2014. He added assistant head coach to his title in 2015.

In 2016, Bernard coached All-American running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks to 1,401 rushing yards, first in the CAA and fourth in all of FCS.  The Great Danes ranked fourth in the CAA with 24.9 points per game, including wins over New Hampshire, Buffalo and St. Francis to compile a 7-4 record.

In his first year at UAlbany, Bernard oversaw running back Omar Osbourne who earned second-team All-CAA honors and finished his career ranked third all-time in the program archives with 3,229 career rushing yards.

Bernard came to UAlbany with 11 years of experience as a defensive coordinator at the FCS level, as well as hefty high school and college head coaching experience. Bernard began his coaching career at Nazareth Area High School in Pennsylvania where was on staff from 1985-1996, helping lead the squad to four league championships and two district championships. As the head coach (1990-95), he compiled a 37-28-1 record.

From there, Bernard joined Fairfield University's coaching staff from 1996 to 2002. Serving as the defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator, the Stags captured the 1998 MAAC Championship. Bernard was elevated to the position of head coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

In 2003, Bernard joined Gattuso's staff at Duquesne as the defensive and special teams coordinator. During his seven-year tenure, the Dukes won a Mid-Major National Championship, had the top ranked defense in the FCS, and won five straight MAAC titles (2003-07). Bernard met up with Gattuso again as a member of the University of Pittsburgh staff from 2009-11. As the strength assistant, Bernard helped the Panthers to an 18-8 record, two bowl victories, and a 2010 Big East title.

Bernard came to UAlbany after three seasons in the high school ranks. The head coach at Stroudsburg High School, Bernard led his team to a 19-5 record across the 2011 and 2012 seasons, as well as back-to-back conference championships. In 2013, he was the offensive coordinator for Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C.