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Lenny Bernstein resigns as wrestling coach at the Univ. of Virginia

13-Year Head Coach Led Cavalier Program to 106 Wins

April 7, 2006

Charlottesville, VA - Lenny Bernstein, the head coach of the Virginia wrestling program for the last 13 seasons, announced his resignation today. Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage said a comprehensive search would commence to find his replacement.

"I have been thinking of leaving the coaching profession for about two years now and after finishing my master's degree this spring, I started to look at some other opportunities outside of coaching," Bernstein said. "Although there never seems to be a good time to leave coaching, I believe that I am leaving this program in excellent shape. I will certainly miss my staff, my colleagues at UVa, and my student-athletes.

"With the return of every starter from this year's squad, and the continued support of the administration, I have a great deal of confidence that the program will reach the top 10 in the country. I have tremendous memories from the 13 years I have spent as head coach and the three years I worked under the guidance of George Edwards. It's time to become a fan of UVa wrestling and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."

During his 13 seasons as head coach Bernstein has led Virginia's program to a 106-92-2 record. He coached wrestlers in 12 NCAA Championships and saw 25 UVa wrestlers win Atlantic Coast Conference individual titles. During his tenure, Bernstein coached six of Virginia's nine All-Americans.

"Coach Bernstein has been a valued member of our coaching staff during the time he served as assistant wrestling coach and head coach," Littlepage said. "He advocated in behalf of fully funding scholarships and worked to initiate plans to upgrade facilities like Memorial Gymnasium and practice and locker room facilities in Onesty Hall. He successfully led our team to three top 25 finishes at the NCAA Championships, most recently in 2004 when we finished 16th and has made UVa a regular contender for the ACC title."
The Cavaliers finished the 2005-06 dual season with a 12-5 record including a 4-1 mark in the ACC competition that tied for first place in the regular season. The team was third at the 2006 ACC Championships.

Bernstein served as an assistant coach for the Virginia wrestling program under George Edwards from 1990-93 before taking over as head coach for the 1993-94 season.

Bernstein graduated from UNC in 1989, earning degrees in math and speech communications. As a Tar Heel he compiled a career record of 96-34-6 and won two ACC championships in three trips to the conference finals. He earned All-America honors after placing fourth at the 1987 NCAA Championships.

He served as an assistant coach at UNC for one season before going to UVa, where he worked on a master's degree in sports psychology while assisting with the Virginia program.
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