Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Monday (July 1) that Mark Bernardino will retire as the Cavaliers’ head swimming and diving coach effective today.

“Today, after 35 years as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at the University of Virginia – in total 41 years, including my time as a student, athlete and assistant coach – I am announcing my retirement,” Bernardino said. “It is a difficult day filled with mixed emotions and I have not come to this decision lightly. 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.”

Mark Bernardino Photo by Dan Addison
Bernardino was Virginia’s longest-tenured head coach, leading the Cavalier swimming and diving programs for 35 years, and was only the second head coach of the women’s program. He guided UVa to 27 Atlantic Coast Conference championships, the most in ACC swimming and diving history. His 16 men’s conference titles are also an ACC record and the 11 women’s championships rank second in conference history.

In 2013, both the Cavalier men’s and women’s programs won ACC championships for the sixth consecutive season, the first time the feat has been accomplished by an ACC school.

Bernardino completed his career as one of the NCAA’s all-time leaders in swimming and diving dual meet wins.

“I want to thank Coach Bernardino for his service to the University and his contributions to the Department of Athletics' success,” said Virginia Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage. “Mark's career is one that will be difficult to be equaled and is notable for the competitive success of his teams and student-athletes, and also the academic achievements of his student-athletes.


Augie Busch Named Virginia's Head Swimming and Diving Coach

Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Wednesday (July 10) that Augie Busch, head coach of Houston’s women’s squad for the past two seasons, has been named the head coach of the Cavalier men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.

Augie Busch Photo courtesy of
“After doing the research to find a great fit and the type of coach best positioned to take over the Virginia swimming and diving program, there is no question in my mind that Augie Busch is someone who is uniquely qualified,” Littlepage said. “His background with top-ranked college programs, conference and NCAA champions and Olympic-level swimmers have all prepared him to build on our programs' success at Virginia.”

In his two seasons at Houston, Busch led the Cougars to a fourth-place finish in Conference USA in 2012 and to a program-best second-place league showing last season.

At Houston, Busch, 37, improved the profile of the Cougars athletically and academically. The Cougars recorded personal-best times in 90 percent of their swims and broke seven school records in 2013 while achieving a program-best 3.42 team GPA.

“It is with tremendous excitement and enthusiasm that I accept the head coaching position for this prestigious program,” Busch said. “I am so grateful to Mr. Littlepage and his staff for believing I’m the person to lead these awesome teams. Mark Bernardino did an amazing job lifting UVa Swimming to the highest level and I have the utmost respect for him and what he has accomplished. It is my goal to build upon what he has created and take the program to even greater heights. Over time I’m confident we will be able to accomplish this.

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