By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern women's basketball head coach Michele Durand will transition from her coaching position at the end of the 2019-20 season to ONU's full-time assistant director of athletics.
Current assistant coach Mark Huelsman will replace Durand as head coach of the program in the spring of 2020.
"I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to be the leader of the ONU women's basketball program," Durand said. "I am looking forward to my future as the assistant athletics director, but at the same time I will miss coaching. I am excited about Mark taking over the program. He has worked very hard and done a great job with our players and deserves this opportunity."
During her previous 18 years as head coach at Ohio Northern, Durand has coached four WBCA All-Americans (one First-Team and three Honorable Mention), one First-Team Academic All-American, two D3Hoops.com All-Americans (Second-Team and Fourth-Team), three OAC Players of the Year, and 13 First-Team All-OAC players.
Under her guidance, the Polar Bears have won five OAC Regular Season titles, two OAC Tournament titles, and have appeared in four NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournaments.
Last season, Durand led the Polar Bears to a 15-13 overall record, a 7-11 conference mark, and the program's 24th straight trip to the OAC Tournament. Ohio Northern also appeared in its third straight OAC Tournament championship game after posting back-to-back victories over second-seeded Baldwin Wallace and third-seeded Marietta as the No. 7 seed.
During the 2018-19 campaign, Durand secured her 300th career coaching victory at Ohio Northern with a 74-56 victory over Allegheny (Pa.) at the Allegheny Tip-Off Tournament on November 17, 2018. She went on to collect her 200th career coaching victory in the OAC during the season with a 53-46 victory over Baldwin Wallace on January 9, 2019.
Huelsman has been heavily involved in all aspects of the Polar Bear women's basketball program, including post-player development, recruitment, and serving as head coach of the junior varsity team, for the past seven seasons.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to be the head coach of the Ohio Northern women's basketball program," Huelsman said. "I have learned so much over the years from Michele and Jerry Scheve at Wilmington. They have been great mentors. We have a tremendous history and tradition at Ohio Northern and I hope to continue to build upon that. We have wonderful student-athletes here, and I look forward to helping them reach their full potentials both on and off the court."
He has helped coach the program to four Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season championships, a conference tournament championship, and three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, including an Elite 8 berth during the 2016-17 season.
Since Huelsman's arrival, he has helped develop five First-Team All-OAC post players, including two OAC Players of the Year, two D3Hoops.com All-Americans, and two WBCA Honorable Mention All-American post players.
Prior to Ohio Northern, Huelsman worked as an assistant coach at fellow OAC institution Wilmington. He graduated from Wittenberg in 2007 where he was a three-time letterwinner for the men's basketball team as well as a member of the 2006 NCAA Division III Tournament runner-up team.
The Polar Bears will open their 2019-20 campaign Nov. 12 with a road game at Anderson (Ind.)