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John Bernal

Athletic Trainer


Phone: (616) 774-4585 ext. 3043


John Bernal embarks on his fourth season as the Griffins’ athletic trainer and his 14th in hockey, after helping Grand Rapids earn the Calder Cup in 2013.

A native of Pinckney, Mich., Bernal spent three seasons as the assistant athletic trainer for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes (2008-11), following a four-year stint as head athletic trainer for the club’s AHL affiliates in San Antonio (2005-08) and Utah (2004-05).

Bernal, who earned a sports medicine degree from Central Michigan University in 1999 and a master’s from Arizona State University in 2001, was also the athletic trainer for the ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters (2003-04) and Lake Superior State University’s Division I hockey team (2001-03.

John and his wife, Susan, make their home in Caledonia with their children, Madison and Jackson.

Number of seasons with the Griffins (through 2014-15): 4

Best thing about your job: The great people you meet, and not knowing what to expect every day you go to work.

Hometown: Pinckney, MI

States (and provinces or countries) you've lived in: Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Utah

Spouse's name/year you were married: Susan, 2005

Children: Madison and Jackson

College degree/year/school: B.S. in Sports Medicine/1999/Central Michigan University, M.Ed. Administration and Supervision/2001/Arizona State University

Sports idol(s) as a youth: Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish

As a child, you dreamed of becoming: Bo or Luke Duke

First job/your age: Worked at a Golf Course, 15

Current dream job: I am living it.

Other sports teams you’ve worked for: LSSU Lakers, Texas Wildcatters(ECHL), Utah Grizzlies(AHL), San Antonio Rampage(AHL), Phoenix Coyotes(NHL)

Professional memberships/civic leadership positions: Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society, National Athletic Trainers Association

Sports played growing up: Baseball, golf

Favorite foods: Mexican food, pizza

Favorite music artists: Bob Seger, George Strait, Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Jimmy Buffett, Etc.

Favorite sports movie: Caddyshack

Favorite book or author: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

Favorite spectator sports: Baseball, football

Favorite pro/college sports teams (excluding Griffins): Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions

Favorite recreational activities/hobbies: Golf, Hunting, Fishing


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