Michele Durand’s work ethic is one of the reasons she continues to be successful in the field of athletics. Durand believes “always do your best, whether you are sweeping the gym floor or playing or in the classroom, you have to do your best.” This drive to succeed has led her to take on the new role, Assistant Athletic Director. Tim Glon has been the Sports Information Director at Northern for 25 years, saw Michele grow the basketball program since her first day of coaching at Northern.
Michele has earned this position by bringing the Lady Polar Bears an undefeated season, multiple conference wins, and appearances in the national tournament. Tom Simmons, the athletic director, has seen Michele grow the program since she first started coaching. “She rescued the basketball program, we were basement level. Michele came in, had the discipline, had the leadership skills, the communication skills, she is a total package. She was determined to make the program better.”
Before her career started at Northern, Coach Durand led the lady’s basketball team at Bluffton University for eleven years. With this dedication, she earned a spot in the Bluffton University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. While at Bluffton, Durand won coach of the year twice and took the team to a conference championship.
After playing and coaching for Bluffton, Michele joined Northern for the “challenge in terms of taking the team to the NCAA tournament, winning a conference,” “knew Northern was in a great conference,” and gave her the opportunity to work with “great athletes and great students at the same time.”
She teaches leadership, speaking out for what you believe in, and treating everyone with respect. During the nineteen seasons of leading the lady bears, the team made their 25th OAC tournament appearance, made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1989, and had fun while doing it. Tim Glon has also seen Michele grow the women’s basketball team, “there are many good things that go into being a good coach and she has found the formula to make it work.”
Of course, Michele is not all basketball all the time. She talked about staying in Marble Head on the weekends, picking up a book, or being active on walks around campus. She advocates for keeping a balanced life between work and home to keep her sane through the semester.
Now that the reins have been passed to Coach Mark Huelsman, Michele can focus on her new role in the administration as the Assistant Athletic Director. With COVID-19 turning sports upside down, this year Michele will be able to settle into her new position and help Simmons transition back to normalcy. With the fall sports season in mid-swing and the winter sports season approaching, Michele and Tom have worked hard to bring sports back to Polar Bears.