New Notre Dame football beat writers Mike Berardino, Fernando Ramirez to join Tribune

Tribune Staff Report
Notre Dame players prepare to take the field as fans use lights on their mobile phones to create a light show inside Notre Dame Stadium before the Notre Dame-North Carolina NCAA college football on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in South Bend.

SOUTH BEND — The South Bend Tribune and its ND Insider website are kicking off a new era of Notre Dame football coverage this week with the hiring of two new beat writers.  

Veteran sports journalist Mike Berardino begins covering the team on Monday and will be joined in March by Fernando Ramirez. The two will anchor Notre Dame football coverage through several platforms, including digital, social media, podcasts and print. 

“It’s exciting to think of all the new ways we can cover the Notre Dame program as it enters its own fresh outlook with new head coach Marcus Freeman,” said Sports Editor Michael Wanbaugh. “The Tribune has traditionally been at the forefront of Irish sports coverage, and we’re confident that Mike and Fernando will both continue and build upon the high standard that has been established here.” 

Left: Mike Berardino   Right: Fernando Ramirez

Berardino is no stranger to the Fighting Irish. He has covered Notre Dame sports in various capacities since 2018, first with the Indianapolis Star and later as a correspondent for the Chicago Sun-Times and Forbes. ND fans have come to expect smart features and analysis from Mike, and they can now keep doing so on He also has more than 30 years of sports reporting experience.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Berardino began his career covering minor league baseball before heading up special projects for Baseball America. He later covered the Minnesota Twins, Miami Dolphins and big-time college sports programs at various publications.

Ramirez is moving to South Bend from his native San Diego, where he has covered the NFL’s Chargers since 2017, first for NBC San Diego/Telemundo and most recently for FanNation, an arm of Sports Illustrated. 

A graduate of California State University Long Beach, Ramirez earned his master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, Orange County Campus, and has extensive experience in podcasting and video production. He will bring a wide skill set to ND Insider, built on his time covering breaking NFL stories, analysis and other news. His first day with the Tribune will be March 14.

“Mike and Fernando bring a great blend of experience and talents that will inform and entertain Tribune and ND Insider readers. We're excited to see where they take our ND sports coverage,” Wanbaugh said. “We can’t wait to get started.”