2 sports, 2 schools, 2 national titles: Jared Bernhardt wins football championship after star lacrosse career

·2 min read

Two-sport stars are a rarity these days and it is even more rare that they wins championships in both sports.

Former Maryland men’s lacrosse player Jared Bernhardt bucked that trend, He won a national championship as a freshman with Maryland and then put on a different kind of helmet and played football this season, leading Division II Ferris State to its first national championship in history.

After his lacrosse career, Bernhardt was supposed to play football during the 2020 season. That was delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bernhardt used his extra year of eligibility, leading Ferris State to a 14-0 record and a title after beating Valdosta State, 58-17. He had three rushing touchdowns in the title game and sat for most of the second half after the game was in hand.

Berhandt played in nine games for Ferris State this season, throwing for 1,322 yards and 11 touchdowns, while running for 1,273 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

“I don’t think it’s really set in yet,” Bernhardt said Saturday. “But definitely a surreal moment.”

Ferris State quarterback Jared Bernhardt (12) tosses the ball to Ferris State running back Tyler Minor (7) in the first half of the Division II championship NCAA college football game against Valdosta State in McKinney, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Emil Lippe)
Ferris State quarterback Jared Bernhardt (12) tosses the ball to Ferris State running back Tyler Minor (7) in the first half of the Division II championship NCAA college football game against Valdosta State in McKinney, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Emil Lippe)

Record-breaking lacrosse stats

Bernhardt, an attacker, played four seasons at Maryland setting school records in career points, goals, goals and points in a single season, and NCAA tournament record for goals and points in a postseason. He won the 2021 Tewaaraton Award as the top male college lacrosse player in the nation was also named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.

Played football in high school

Before embarking on his college lacrosse career, Bernhardt played quarterback at Lake Brantley High School in in Altamonte Springs, Florida. He was a triple-option signal caller who won the Orlando Sentinel boys athlete of the year in 2016.

Bernhardt in action during the 2021 D1 lacrosse championships with Maryland.
Bernhardt in action during the 2021 D1 lacrosse championships with Maryland.

Family of coaches

Jared's father, Jim, was a coaching veteran. He was a special assistant to the head coach and director of player development at Penn State and the Houston Texans. He also coached at Hofstra, Brown and Central Florida. After retiring from coaching in 2017, he was a special assistant with the Chesapeake Bayhawks, a lacrosse team. Jim Bernhardt died in 2019. His brother Jesse is Maryland's defensive coordinator for men's lacrosse while another brother Jake is an assistant coach at Vermont.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jared Bernhardt: Ferris State QB wins title after star lacrosse career