GRAND FORKS – The most successful volleyball coach in UND history has resigned.
Coach Ashley Hardee submitted his resignation on Wednesday, according to a release from the school.
“I would like to extend a sincere apology to the program, the University and the community for a serious lapse in judgment,” said Hardee. “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.”
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 school put Hardee on paid administrative leave on Monday.
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 police are investigating if alcohol was involved, Gallagher said, “We are investigating all aspects of why the hit-and-run occurred.”
Dave Krueger, the father of UND senior setter Ellen Krueger, said five team members were in the van with Hardee when the accident occurred. The team was on its way to the airport, which is about a 13-mile drive from the team hotel.
UND assistant coaches Dan Brown and Erin Joki drove the other team members in other vehicles, Dave Kreuger said.
The team flew from Portland to Fargo with a layover in Denver.
Hardee, 40, was hired at UND in 2009 and just completed his fifth season. He led UND to its first Big Sky Conference title in any sport last month. Prior to UND joining the Big Sky, Hardee led UND to a pair of Great West Conference titles and won the league’s coach of the year award twice.
In the summer of 2012, Hardee signed a one-year contract extension to take him through 2016. His base salary was $83,078.
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