Michele Durand enters her 19th season as the head coach of the Ohio Northern women’s basketball program. She is also in her fourth year as the Senior Woman Administrator.
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 upsets 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.
In addition, Durand became the all-time winningest basketball coach at Ohio Northern last season, surpassing legendary men's basketball coach Gale Daugherty with a 75-62 victory over Muskingum. She currently owns a 313-176 overall record at ONU, good for a .640 win percentage.
On November 18, 2017, Durand became the all-time winningest coach in women's basketball program history after Ohio Northern defeated St. Mary's (Ind.) 84-48 in the North Park (Ill.) Invitational. She surpassed Hall of Fame coach Gayle Lauth, who racked up 275 career victories, for the top spot.
In 2017-18, ONU finished the season with a 23-5 overall record and a 15-3 OAC mark to capture the school's fifth OAC Regular Season title in six seasons and their fourth successive crown. During the campaign, Northern reeled off an impressive 17-game winning streak and also captured their seventh successive 20-or-more win season.
In 2016-17, Durand guided the Polar Bears to their first undefeated regular season in program history. The Polar Bears ended the season at 30-1 (18-0 in the OAC), winning both the OAC Regular Season title and the OAC Tournament title. For her efforts, Durand was named the OAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career.
The program also made their ninth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and fourth trip in five years during the 2016-17 season. Ohio Northern was rewarded for their undefeated regular season, earning hosting rights for the first four rounds of the tournament. The Polar Bears concluded the season in the Elite 8 and ranked fifth in the country in the final national poll. Durand was named the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year, her third time receiving the honor.
Looking further into Durand’s career, she led the Polar Bears to a 27-2 record and OAC Regular Season and OAC Tournament titles during the 2012-13 campaign. The team ascended to No. 3 in the national rankings and appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
During her tenure 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.
The Toledo native came to Ohio Northern after 11 seasons as head coach at nearby Bluffton College (now named Bluffton University). While at Bluffton, she was named Coach of the Year in the Western Buckeye Collegiate Conference following the 1990-91 season and in the Association of Mideast Colleges during the 1995-96 campaign.
Currently, Durand owns 434 career coaching victories overall from her time with the Ohio Northern and Bluffton women's basketball programs.
Durand served in other capacities during her time at Bluffton as she also coached the women’s tennis and cross country teams, served as the associate director of athletics, and was an assistant professor of HPER during her tenure.
For her efforts as a former Bluffton student-athlete and coach, Durand was inducted into the Bluffton University Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2018. She has also been inducted into the Toledo Whitmer High School Athletic Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in basketball, cross country, and track during her prep days.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation from Bluffton in 1988 and received a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in physical education in 1990.
Durand is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and serves on the Great Lakes Region NCAA Tournament selection committee. She resides in Findlay.
Women's Basketball under Durand
|2018-19||15-13||.536||7-11 / 7th||.389||Runner-Up|
|2017-18||23-5||.821||15-3 / 1st||.833||Runner-Up|
|2016-17||30-1||.970||18-0 / 1st||1.000||Champions|
|2015-16||23-5||.821||17-1 / 1st||.944||Semifinalist|
|2014-15||20-6||.769||16-2 / 1st||.889||Semifinalist|
|2013-14||23-6||.793||14-4 / 3rd||.778||Runner-Up|
|2012-13||27-2||.931||18-0 / 1st||1.000||Champions|
|2011-12||21-6||.778||14-4 / 2nd||.778||Runner-Up|
|2010-11||17-10||.629||11-7 / 3rd||.611||Semifinalist|
|2009-10||16-11||.592||10-8 / 5th||.556||Semifinalist|
|2008-09||9-17||.346||7-11 / 8th||.389||Quarterfinalist|
|2007-08||19-7||.731||14-4 / 2nd||.778||Quarterfinalist|
|2006-07||17-10||.630||11-7 / 4th||.611||Semifinalist|
|2005-06||12-14||.462||7-11 / 7th||.389||Quarterfinalist|
|2004-05||11-15||.333||6-12 / t7th||.333||Quarterfinalist|
|2003-04||14-13||.519||8-10 / t5th||.444||Quarterfinalist|
|2002-03||7-19||.269||3-15 / t9th||.167||Quarterfinalist|
|2001-02||9-16||.360||8-10 / t5th||.444||Quarterfinalist|
Mark Huelsman enters his seventh season as an assistant women's basketball coach at Ohio Northern.
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.
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.
“Mark has been a vital part of our success over the past six seasons. He has done an outstanding job in recruiting and developing our players,” head coach Michele Durand stated.
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.
Mark is a member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
He resides with his wife, Lauren, in Marion, OH.
Jon Cook returns for his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Northern women's basketball program.
Cook is a 1995 Ohio Northern graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in History. While attending ONU, he spent four years as a student assistant coach with the men’s basketball program, including the 1993 campaign when the Polar Bears won the NCAA Division III National Championship.
He was previously the head boys basketball coach at Ada High School from 1996 to 1998. He has also served as head boys basketball coach at Jackson Center High School (2000 to 2001) and Allen East High School (2014).
The fourth-year assistant has also worked with the men’s basketball program at Bluffton University on two occasions (1999 & 2007-08).
Cook and his wife, Heather, reside outside of Ada with their children, Marin, Micah, and Lucas.
|Title:||Volunteer Assistant Women's Basketball Coach|
Aaron Frankart is in his second season as a volunteer assistant women's basketball coach at Ohio Northern.
Frankart is a 2001 graduate of Leipsic High School. He would go on to attend Owens Community College from 2001-2003.
His previous experiences include coaching girls basketball at Liberty-Benton High School from 2012-2018.
Frankart works as an insurance agent in Findlay and enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams.
Aaron and his wife, Mollie, have three children and currently reside near Findlay.