Bernhard signed to contract extension at North Dakota

University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Bill Chaves announced on Tuesday that Head Women’s Basketball Coach Mallory Bernhard has received a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.  

“I look forward to having Mal continue lead our women’s basketball program,” said Chaves. “The passion and desire she exudes to make our program and UND the best it can be is contagious.” 

Bernhard took over the program as the interim head coach during the pandemic-filled 2020-21 season and began to carve out a new culture for UND. In that season, she helped the Fighting Hawks battled multiple opponents to overtime and tight contests, establishing an attitude for relentlessness and grit.  

“It meant so much to me as an alumna to be given the opportunity to lead this program, and it means even more to know that our administration believes in the direction we’re headed,” said Bernhard. “I am incredibly grateful for this continued opportunity and will continue to pour my heart and soul into this program. We have an unbelievable group of young women that represent the University of North Dakota women’s basketball so well both on and off the court and we will continue to strive to make our fans, alumni as well as University proud.” 

She was named the seventh head coach of North Dakota in March 2021, becoming the first former student-athlete of the program to take the reins. During her first full year, Bernhard engineered a 13-win improvement to lead the Fighting Hawks to a fifth-place finish in the Summit League standings.  

The 2022-23 season saw an even larger improvement under Bernhard, with the Fighting Hawks climbing the Summit League standings to a program-best third seed in the postseason league tournament with an 11-7 conference mark. UND also put together its best home record since the 2013-14 season at 13-1, which included the first wins over rivals North Dakota State and South Dakota since she took over the program.  

Bernhard also earned NoDak its first national postseason tournament appearance since 2016-17, accepting an invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) for later this week.  

Multiple players have garnered conference accolades under the tutelage of Bernhard, with Kacie Borowicz earning back-to-back All-Summit League First Team selections and two other earning spots on the league’s all-defensive team.  

Off the court, the Fighting Hawks have thrived with academic and community service success, most recently posting one of the highest semester GPA’s in program history.