With four regular-season games left in the 2020-21 season, UND posted Friday a job opening for a head women's basketball coach.
The Fighting Hawks host South Dakota on Saturday and Sunday in the final home regular-season Summit League series.
UND, under the direction of interim head coach Mallory Bernhard, is 2-15 this season.
"Our plan really was to search after last season and once COVID hit, everything seemed to be put on hold, and it made sense at that point to go in an interim direction with (Bernhard)," UND athletic director Bill Chaves said. "All with the intention and thought process to open the search at the conclusion of the season."
Chaves said UND aimed all along to target a mid-February job posting.
"It's more of a process question," he said. "For us to start sometime in March, you actually, from a state agency standpoint, we have to get it out mid-February, so it gives us the opportunity to move forward with the search whenever the season concludes."
When asked whether Bernhard will apply for the opening, Chaves said it's her decision.
"She's absolutely got the opportunity to do so, and that's for her to decide," Chaves said.
UND doesn't have a hard timeline to complete the search, Chaves said. The job posting closes March 1.
"You never really box yourself in when you're getting into a search," he said. "For us, I just wanted to make sure we had the ability to commence the search at the conclusion of the season."
The Summit League postseason tournament is scheduled for March 6-9 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
On March 30, with the coronavirus pandemic concerns growing in the country, UND announced Bernhard would serve as interim coach for the 2020-21 season.
Bernhard (Youngblut) is a former standout UND player has been with the program as an assistant coach since the 2013-14 season.