Troy hires Joe Bernardi has new offensive line coach

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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On Tuesday, March 7, Troy University announced the hiring of new offensive line coach Joe Bernardi, who last served as interim tight ends coach at Auburn.

Bernardi replaces Cole Popovich, who was recently hired as the new co-offensive line coach for the Houston Texans in the NFL.

“Joe comes from a great coaching family and was a tremendous player at Fresno State,” Troy Coach Jon Sumrall said. “He has a strong track record of coaching young men who have gone on to play in the NFL and has sharpened his craft with some of the best coaches in the profession.

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“Joe’s strength is in his passion for the game of football and his ability to get the absolute best out of each of his players. We’re excited to welcome him to Troy.”

His father, Gary Bernardi, has 40 years of coaching experience in college football, having spent time as an assistant coach with UCLA, Colorado and San Diego State.

Bernardi grew up in Arizona and played college football at Fresno State University. At Fresno State, he was on the Rimington Trophy Watch List twice. Following his college career, Bernardi started his coaching career as a quality control coach for Tennessee and then became a graduate assistant, working with the offensive line, at Oregon from 2013-215.

In 2016, Bernardi was hired to serve as a tight ends coach at his alma mater, Fresno State, before becoming offensive line coach and run game coordinator at San Jose State in 2017. Bernardi then became athletics director and offensive line coach at Immanuel Schools in California before returning to the college game in 2022 as an offensive analyst at Auburn. Following the dismissal of Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin, Bernardi was elevated to interim tight ends coach for the final four games of the 2022 season. New Auburn coach Hugh Freeze had retained Bernardi on his staff as an offensive analyst before he was hired by Troy. A total of five offensive linemen coached by Bernardi at Oregon and San Jose State went on to sign NFL contracts.

“Lindsey and I are very appreciative to Coach Sumrall and Coach (Joe) Craddock for the opportunity to be the offensive line coach at Troy,” Bernardi said. “We can’t wait to get rolling and be a part of this community. I hope to contribute to building on the success from last season.”