Meet the (Not So) New Head Coach: UND Women’s Basketball’s Mallory Bernhard
Bernhard's Interim Tag extended through 2021-22 basketball season
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — After North Dakota Athletic Director Bill Chaves announced Travis Brewster would not return as women’s basketball head coach three weeks ago, associate head coach Mallory Bernhard was named as the interim. On Monday, the interim tag was extended through the 2021-22 season.
“I think bringing the experience of knowing what the program is about with the community and their involvement, just the love that there is for this program is huge,” Bernhard said. “Having played someone that both played in the program and coached now last seven years, I have a ton of pride for what this program is about.”
With the familiarity of both coaching and playing at her alma mater, Bernhard has built strong relationships especially with the players she’s now in charge of, a quality that helps the transition.
“Given the circumstances of the way things are right now, were not allowed to be with them on the floor. Were not even in the same city at this point,” Bernhard said.” “Were all talking to each other from each other’s living rooms or wherever it may be so being able to have those conversations and not have to have a get to know people type situation, we can just move right forward. We already know have that familiarity with each other. It certainly helps as far as being able to skip ahead to what we need and just having those real conversations.”
With taking over the reigns comes some change to make the team her own, Bernhard says it starts with one thing.
“I’m a very defense minded person as crazy as that sounds to anybody whoever watched me play or played with me,” Bernhard said.
Bernhard inherits a very young group of players that included eight freshman and only one senior leaving, making next season a great opportunity to keep building.
“That freshman class has a ton of talent and now having gotten their feet wet in the college game, they can definitely see where they were or what it takes to get to that next level. There’s just so much potential in that group.”
Bernhard joins an exclusive group of alumni to come back and coach at UND including Hockey coach Brad Berry.