The UND women's basketball head coaching search has been paused.

UND athletic director Bill Chaves announced Monday that interim coach Mallory Bernhard will serve in that capacity through the 2020-21 season.

"In light of current events, I made the decision to cancel our women's basketball head coaching search and extend coach Bernhard's interim appointment through the end of next basketball season," Chaves said. "Once the season concludes, we will move forward with a search at that time.

"Mallory is UND through and through as a student-athlete, assistant coach and now head coach. We are excited about her leading the program this upcoming year."

On March 11, Chaves announced previous head coach Travis Brewster wouldn't return for the 2020-21 season. Brewster had been head coach the past eight seasons and a member of the coaching staff for 17 years. At that time, Chaves tabbed Bernhard as the interim coach as a national search for Brewster's replacement was underway.

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Shortly after Chaves' announcement regarding Brewster, the NCAA announced the cancellation of winter championships due to the coronavirus outbreak. In the weeks since, much of the nation's daily operations have shut down as healthcare professionals are encouraging Americans to stay at home.

Bernhard, then Mallory Youngblut, played at UND from 2007-11 under Hall of Fame coach Gene Roebuck. She finished her UND career 15th in scoring and top 10 in steals, 3-point makes and attempts, free-throw percentage and 3-point percentage.

The Davenport, Iowa, native returned in 2013-14 as an assistant coach.

“I am honored to be offered the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of North Dakota," Bernhard said. "UND has been my home for the last 14-plus years, and the chance to represent this program, university and community is not something I take lightly.

“In athletics, we are all competitive people, and it is my job to earn this moving forward. I understand this is an unprecedented time, but I look forward to getting back to the court with our players, whenever that may be. Thank you to Bill, our athletic department and administration for their support and confidence.”

In her seven years on staff, Bernhard has helped the Fighting Hawks to four postseason appearances, two Big Sky Conference championships and a Big Sky tournament title.

Bernhard was promoted to associate head coach before the 2018-19 season, helping land North Dakota’s touted signing class of 2019 that featured seven players across the region, including Miss Basketball North Dakota (Megan Zander) and Minnesota (Kacie Borowicz). With eight freshmen on the roster, the 2019-20 UND team finished 15-15 and 6-10 in The Summit League.