After 30 years of coaching and athletic administration, he will return to teaching full-time
by Gary Adornato
Paul Bernstorf, the athletic director at St. Paul’s School since 1995 and a highly successful head coach with both the varsity baseball and football programs, at various times, has announced that he will retire from his athletic post with the school at the end of the current academic year.
Bernstorf’s career as an athletic director and head coach has spanned 30 years. He plans to remain on the faculty at St. Paul’s and will return to the status of full-time teacher.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time with students; spending more time with my wife,” Bernstorf told VSN. “I will play golf and I always thought I would umpire baseball. I know we need umpires and I have a hard time sitting still, but this will have to wait until I fully retire.”
Bernstorf led the St. Paul’s football program, as head coach, from 1997 through 2014, compiling a record of 40-33-1 and winning the MIAA B Conference championship in 2012 and 2013. The 2012 team went undefeated and earned Bernstorf honors as VSN Football Co-Coach of the Year. He also was an assistant on the St. Paul’s staff, contributing to championships in 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2003. Prior to coming to St. Paul’s in 1995, he also coached football at Haverford School in Philadelphia, his alma mater, and Columbus Academy in Ohio, where he won a state title in 1987. His career record as a football head coach was 101-77-2.
A two-sport athlete (football and baseball) in high school, Bernstorf pitched in college for the baseball team at the University of Richmond. As the head baseball coach at St. Paul’s, he led the Crusaders to titles in 1996, 2002 and 2003 and reached the finals in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
Reluctant to talk about his accomplishments, Bernstorf said, “It has never been about myself, so I do not know what records I had.”
He was also hesitant to speak of some of the great athletes he coached, in fear that he may forget someone, but he did mention the following.
Football: Justin Singleton, Adair Newhall, Chris Horich, Brent Weiss, Tom Trela, Brett and Greg Shaver, Kris Labadie, Josh Deckelbaum, Chad Durakis, Steve Johnson, Gavin Lippman, Lamonte Wade, David Beach, Tom Hermann, Bryan DelMonte and Walter Hill.
Baseball: Kimball Payne, Chris Kakel, Chris and Jon Berrier, Buggs Combs, Chad Unitas, Joe Creamer, David Rauch, Brandon Bortner, Connor, Brendan and Gavin Gill, Trey Whitty, Dale Harris, Teddy Martinez, Anthony Pino, London Fitzhugh, Gavin Class and Grant Halford.
And two particular baseball players were most special to coach, Bernstorf’s sons Bryan and Stephan.
In a letter announcing the retirement to the St. Paul’s community, headmaster David Faus said, “During his time as AD, Paul helped us realize many improvements to our athletics facilities, guiding the construction of a new gym, stadium, turf field, and more. We are grateful to Paul for the long hours he has put in on our courts and fields and for modeling how to compete with sportsmanship, drive, and a genuine love of the game.”