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UND volleyball coach resigns

The most successful volleyball coach in UND history has resigned.

Coach Ashley Hardee submitted his resignation on Wednesday, ending a five-year tenure at the school that included three conference championships.

The resignation comes as Hardee is being investigated for a reported hit-and-run accident early Sunday morning while the team was in Portland, Ore., at the Big Sky tournament.

The accident happened in the hotel parking lot while the team was on its way to the airport to catch its flight home, according to a father of one of the players, who added that five players were in the car at the time of the accident. There were no injuries and the other car was unoccupied.

“I would like to extend a sincere apology to the program, the university and the community for a serious lapse in judgment,” Hardee said in a written statement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at the University of North Dakota, and I thank the entire community for its tremendous support over the past five years.”

UND athletic director Brian Faison said he was made aware of the incident Sunday afternoon while driving back from a wedding in Minot. The school put Hardee on paid administrative leave Monday.

This is the second incident UND has had with Hardee.

In June 2012, Hardee was arrested for driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty to the offense and was ordered to pay a fine of $501.

Faison said the school was made aware of that incident by Hardee, and he was disciplined internally at the time. Faison said that Hardee was verbally reprimanded and put on notice that his contract would be terminated if there was another incident like that.

“He had protocols that he had to go through with the state with the DUI issue,” Faison said. “He confirmed to me as he went through the process.”

Earlier this week, Portland State spokesperson Scott Gallagher told the Herald, “At 5:05 Sunday morning, we had a report from our University Center Hotel of a hit-and-run accident. Our Campus Public Safety office is investigating. Witnesses alleged the UND volleyball coach was driving the car that struck the other unoccupied vehicle. Nobody was injured.”

When asked whether alcohol was a factor in the Portland incident, Faison said, “At this juncture, I’ve heard all kinds of different things. Our ability to verify. . . I can’t do that. All I know is that we’ve had an alleged hit-and-run and Portland police are investigating it as a hit-and-run.”

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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