John Bernal embarks on his seventh season as the Griffins’ athletic trainer and his 17th in hockey, having helped Grand Rapids to Calder Cups in both 2013 and 2017. He also represented the organization as a trainer during the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic in Utica.
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.