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.
Jon Cook is returning for his 2nd season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Northern women's basketball team.
Cook returns to the Polar Bears sideline after serving as an assistant coach for ONU in 2015-16.
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 1993 when the Polar Bears won the 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 coach at Jackson Center High School (2000 to 2001) and Allen East High School (2014).
Cook was an assistant coach 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.
Cenzie enters her first season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Northern women's basketball program.
She returns to Northern after brief coaching stints at Heidelberg University and most recently the University of Findlay.
From 2015-2016, Yoder served as a Graduate Assistant Coach at Heidelberg where she earned her Master's of Education.
In 2016-17, Yoder served as the Head Assistant and Recruiting Coordinator for the University of Findlay women's basketball program.
A 2014 graduate of Ohio Northern, Yoder was a standout for the ONU women's basketball program.
During her career at ONU, Yoder was a 3-time All-OAC honoree, including two First Team All-OAC honors, and was named D3Hoops.com Second Team All-America in 2012-13.
Yoder currently is Ohio Northern's all-time leader in assists (318) and field goals made (489). She ranks third all-time at Ohio Northern with 1,223 points, is fifth all-time with 698 rebounds.
She also ranks seventh all-time at ONU in steals (149), and made free throws (244) and ranks eighth all-time in FG percentage (.495) and ninth all-time with 53 blocked shots.
Yoder received her Bachelor's Degree from Ohio Northern in English Education with a minor in Communications and currently serves as an admissions counselor at Ohio Northern.