Michele Durand begins her 18th season as the head coach of the Ohio Northern women’s basketball program. She is also in her third year as the Senior Woman Administrator.
Last season, ONU finished the 2017-18 campaign 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. Northern would go on to compete in the their 23rd consecutive OAC Tournament in program history where they would fall to Marietta in the championship game. The Polar Bears would also rank as high as No. 7 in the nation with the release of the D3Hoops.com preseason polls. During the campaign, Northern reeled off an impressive 17-game winning streak and also captured their seventh successive 20-or-more win season.
On November 18, 2017, Durand became the all-time winningest coach in program history after Ohio Northern defeated St. Mary's (Ind.) 84-48 in the North Park (Ill.) Invitational. She surpassed former Hall of Fame coach Gayle Lauth, who racked up 275 career victories, for the top spot.
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). They not only won the OAC regular season title but went on to claim the OAC Tournament title as well. For her efforts Durand was named the Ohio Athletic Conference “Coach of the Year” for the fourth time in her career.
During the 2016-17 season Durand led the Polar Bears to their ninth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and fourth trip in five years. Ohio Northern was rewarded for their undefeated regular season, earning hosting rights for the first four rounds of the tournament where they finished their season in the Elite Eight. Ohio Northern concluded the season ranked fifth in the country with the final poll release. Durand was named the Great Lakes Region “Coach of the Year," her third time receiving the honor in her career.
Looking further into Durand’s career, she led the Polar Bears to a 27-2 record and to OAC Regular Season and OAC Tournament titles during the 2012-13 campaign. The team ascended to as high as No. 3 in the national rankings and appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
On Mar. 2 2013, she won her 300th career game against Hanover (Ind.) in an NCAA Division III Tournament First-Round contest. Just one year later, she obtained her 200th win as a Polar Bear on Feb. 22, 2014 with a 75-73 overtime win over OAC rival Capital. Currently, Durand owns 419 career coaching victories from her time with the Ohio Northern and Bluffton women's basketball programs.
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 12 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.
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 on the sidelines as a former Bluffton student-athlete, 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
|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 is in his sixth 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 been a part of 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 (two earned OAC Player of the Year honors), two D3Hoops.com All-Americans (one Second-Team and one Fourth-Team), and two WBCA Honorable Mention All-American post players.
“Mark has been a vital part of our success over the past five seasons. He has done an outstanding job in recruiting and developing our players” said head coach Michele Durand.
Prior to coming 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 is returning for his third season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Northern women's basketball program.
He is a 1995 graduate of Ohio Northern 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.
Cook was 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 third-year assistant coach has also worked with the men’s program at Bluffton University on two occasions (1999 & 2007 to 2008).
Coach 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 enters his first season as a volunteer assistant women's basketball coach at Ohio Northern for the 2018-19 season.
Frankart is a 2001 graduate of Leipsic High School. After graduation, 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. He also enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams.
Aaron and his wife, Mollie, have three children and currently reside near Findlay.