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Feb. 20, 2006

Charlottesville – Virginia head football coach Al Groh announced today the hiring of Steve Bernstein as the Cavaliers’ secondary coach. The addition of Bernstein completes the Virginia coaching staff that had four openings following the conclusion of the 2005 regular season.

Bernstein joins the Hoos’ staff after coaching the secondary at Northern Illinois the past two seasons. He brings 37 years of coaching experience at the major college level with him to Virginia. This is his second tour of duty in the Atlantic Coast Conference having previously worked at Wake Forest.

Bernstein’s coaching resume includes stops at Utah State (1970-72), Wake Forest (1973-77), Virginia Tech (1978-84), Colorado (1985-87), Illinois (1988-91), Texas (1992-97), LSU (1998-99) and Arizona (2001-03). Since his stint with the Hokies, Bernstein has worked exclusively as a secondary coach.

Last season Bernstein helped Northern Illinois to is first Mid-American Conference Championship Game appearance while coaching All-MAC strong safety Ray Smith. During his first season with the Huskies, NIU defeated Troy for the Silicon Valley Football Classic title, the program’s first bowl appearance in 22 seasons. Free safety Lionel Hickenbottom, an All-MAC pick, was the defensive MVP of that game.

Bernstein’s previous bowl game experiences include the 1981 Peach Bowl, 1984 Independence Bowl, 1985 Freedom Bowl, 1986 Bluebonnet Bowl, 1988 All-America Bowl, 1990 Citrus Bowl, 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1991 Hancock Bowl, 1994 Sun Bowl, 1995 Sugar Bowl and 1997 Fiesta Bowl.

Bernstein arrived at NIU after three seasons as secondary coach at the Arizona under John Mackovic (2001-03). Prior to the Wildcats, Bernstein worked with Mackovic as defensive backs coach at Texas (1992-97) and Illinois (1988-91).

He has worked with a number of highly respected collegiate coaches. He was an aide to Gerry DiNardo at Louisiana State (1998-99), Bill McCartney at the Colorado (1985-87), Bill Dooley at Virginia Tech (1978-84), plus Chuck Mills at both Wake Forest (1973-77) and Utah State (1970-72).

Bernstein has seen 16 of his former players drafted by NFL teams. At Colorado, he recruited Jim Thorpe Award winner Deon Figures and at Texas he mentored All-American Bryant Westbrook. Other players he coached who went on to be drafted included: Taje Allen (Texas), Bill Armstrong (Wake Forest), Chris Carter (Texas), Chris Green (Illinois), Lance Gunn (Texas), Quentin Jammer (Texas), Filmel Johnson (Illinois), Henry Jones (Illinois), Ashley Lee (Virginia Tech), Van Malone (Texas), David McLoughlan (Colorado), Lyle Pickens (Colorado), Mark Roman (LSU), David Tate (Colorado), Solomon Wilcox (Colorado),

Bernstein started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Occidental College in 1966. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970 and was a decorated platoon commander in Vietnam.

Bernstein was an All-District Division III running back at Occidental for head coach Jim Mora during his senior season in1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education in 1967 and completed work on a master’s of science in education from Utah State in 1972.

A three-sport letterman at Bellflower (CA) High School, he was recognized on the BHS “Wall of Fame” along with fellow graduate Ron Yary. Bernstein is married to the former Carolyn Maddy of Christiansburg, VA. The couple has an adult son, Todd.

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