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UND women's basketball assistants Travis Bledsoe, Sabra Wimberley not returning next season

Mar. 16—GRAND FORKS — UND women's basketball assistant coaches Travis Bledsoe and Sabra Wimberley will not be returning next season.

The contracts of Bledsoe and Wimberley are not being renewed, a UND spokesperson confirmed Saturday.

Both Bledsoe and Wimberley were in their first seasons with the Fighting Hawks, who ended the season 9-21 overall and 5-11 in the Summit League.

Both positions will be posted soon.

This will be the second consecutive offseason that coach Mallory Bernhard is searching for two new assistant coaches.

Bledsoe, who played basketball at UND, was hired June 20 after a season as the head coach of Anoka-Ramsey Community College men's basketball team.

Prior to that, Bledsoe coached at his alma mater DeLaSalle High School from 2017-2022. The Islanders won five straight section championships and won the Minnesota State Class AAA title in 2019.

Bledsoe coached former UND player Claire Orth in his first coaching stop at Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minn.

Wimberley was a late hire, joining Bernhard's staff on Aug. 14. She was the associate head coach at Wayne County Community College for three seasons under former UND assistant Nkwane Young before taking over as head coach for two seasons.

While there, Wimberley coached 11 players to all-conference honors, including Sammiyah Hoskin.

The Hawks struggled this season. They were unable to string together more than two consecutive wins. UND ended on a five-game losing streak, giving up over 100 points in three of those losses.

"It was a difficult year," Bernhard said Wednesday. "I think we faced a lot of challenges. We had just a lot of newness, new things that maybe we hadn't dealt with in the past as a program. This year was a really good learning experience, good or bad. Take it however you want. But as I've evaluated, and self-reflecting quite a bit on a lot of things, both, obviously, our team and myself. I think there's a lot to be learned from a season like this."

The first step for Bernhard will be finding two new assistants before UND brings in a solid 2024 class, headlined by Grand Forks Red River star guard Jocelyn Schiller and Skyler Volmer out of Lyman High School in South Dakota.

Both players, and Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier forward Mataeya Mathern, led their high school teams to their respective state tournament semifinals.

The strength of the incoming recruiting class is a bright spot for UND as Bernhard looks to get the program back on track.

"As a staff, we've really identified what's important to us," Bernhard said. "I think that goes on the list of things that I've learned throughout my career — what is of greatest value? I think a lot of that was to be learned over these last couple of years."