Michele Durand enters her 17th season as the head coach of the Ohio Northern women’s basketball program. She is currently in her second year as the Senior Woman Administrator.
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 III Tournament appearance and fourth in five years. Ohio Northern was rewarded for their undefeated regular season by hosting the first four rounds of the NCAA tournament where they finished their season in the Elite Eight. Ohio Northern ended the season with a final ranking of fifth in the country. Durand was named the Great Lakes Region “Coach of the Year.” This was the third time in her career she received the honor.
Looking back on Durand’s career, in the 2012-13 season, Durand led the Polar Bears to 27-2 record and an OAC regular season and tournament championship. The team ascended as high as No. 3 in the rankings and appeared in the NCAA III Tournament for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
On Mar. 2 2013, against Hanover (Ind.) in the NCAA III Tournament First Round, she won her 300th career game. Just one year later, on Feb. 22, 2014 she obtained her 200th win as a Polar Bear in a 75-73 overtime win over OAC rival Capital. Durand currently has 396 career wins and is tied with former Hall of Fame coach Gayle Lauth for most wins in school history (275).
During her time at Ohio Northern, Durand has coached three WBCA All-Americans (1 first team and 2 honorable mention), 1 First Team Academic All-American, 1 D3Hoops.com All-American (2 nd Team), 3 OAC Players of the Year and 11 First Team all OAC players.
The Toledo native came to Ohio Northern after 11 seasons as head coach at Bluffton College. While at Bluffton she was named “Coach of the Year” in the Western Buckeye Collegiate Conference in 1990-91 and in the Association of Mideast Colleges in 1995-96.
Durand served in other capacities during her time at Bluffton, as she also coached the women’s tennis and cross country teams, and served as the associate director of athletics and an assistant professor of HPER during her tenure.
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.
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.
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
|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 fifth 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 but not limited to recruiting, post player development and head coach ofthe junior varsity team.
He has been a part of four Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season Championships, two conference tournament championships, and four NCAA III Tournament appearances, including an Elite 8 berth during the 2017 season.
Since Huelsman’s arrival to Ohio Northern he has helped develop four, First Team All-OAC post players (1 player of the year), 1 Second Team D3Hoops.com All-American and 1 WBCA Honorable Mention All-American post player.
“Mark has been a vital part of our success over the past four 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 school Wilmington. He graduated from Wittenberg in 2007 where he was a 3-year letter winner for the men's basketball team as well as a member of 2006 NCAA 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.