Nancy Zurn Bernardini announced her plans to retire this year after her forty-four years at George School. Nancy was a pioneer and is known for her professionalism, patience, and wisdom. The sustained passion she has shown for George School, for Quaker beliefs, the Friends Schools League (FSL), and most importantly for women’s sports has been extraordinary. She made a lasting impression on our community and the league through the lives of the students she coached and the importance she placed on inclusion.
“Emanating patience, wisdom, encouragement, and care, Nancy has also been a most effective teacher and mentor to new coaches, helping them hone their coaching skills while deepening their understanding of the value and importance athletics can play in the life of a Friends boarding school,” said Kurt Ruch, George School senior director of athletics. “She has been an extraordinarily attentive and caring advisor. She is always generous with her time, spending countless hours with her students and their parents, whether it be for course planning or helping navigate personal challenges.”
Nancy is known around the George School as a true leader and fierce competitor. She’s been committed to advancing George School athletic programs while understanding the needs and principles of the overarching community. During her tenure at George School, Nancy has held many positions. She has served on countless committees, was a classroom teacher, physical education teacher, dorm parent, dorm head, advisor, department head, and head coach of multiple sports, and worked as the girls’ athletic director from 1987 to 2020.
Nancy was an exceptional student-athlete. She attended Ursinus College where she is recognized as a Hall of Fame Athlete highlighting her success playing basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse. She also was a member of the US National Field Hockey Team where she played from 1976 until 1980.
A faithful leader and a compassionate observer, Nancy brought vitality, positivity, and humor to her coaching. Her expectations for her student-athletes were always high, but she consistently sought to instill faith in her players so they could become the best version of themselves, both on and off the field.
The community joins together in thanking Nancy for her leadership and her support for our athletes and programs. George School athletics reached a success that could not have otherwise been reached without her guidance.