UND Volleyball Coach Resigns amid Hit-And-Run InvestigationBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
William (Ashley) Hardee, the most successful volleyball coach at the University of North Dakota (UND), has tendered his resignation amid an ongoing investigation into his alleged involvement in a reported hit-and-run accident Sunday in Portland, Oregon.
Hardee and his team flew to Oregon to participate in the Big Sky Conference tournament. The accident reportedly occured in the team hotel's parking lot when the UND team was preparing to leave for the airport, according to a father of one of the players, Grand Forks Herald reports.
A source close to the UND team told WDAZ Sports that as the team was running late, Hardee got into the driving seat of a rented van. When the van was leaving the parking lot, it hit an unoccupied vehicle. Hardee "probably should not have been driving."
Ellen Krueger, UND senior volleyball player told her father Dave "that Hardee was visibly intoxicated and crashed a rental GMC Yukon into (a) Volkswagen Jetta before driving...to Portland International Airport."
At this juncture, Brian Faison, UND's Director of Athletics said that he cannot confirm if alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident.
According to the Grand Forks Municipal Court, In June 2102, Hardee was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to the offense and was ordered to pay a fine of $501.
Faison learnt about the accident on Sunday afternoon, and placed Hardee on paid administrative leave on Monday. He has accepted Hardee's resignation.
"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 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."
With his resignation, Hardee ends his five-year coaching tenure at UND. During his time at UND, Hardee led the team to two Great West regular season titles and three Great West postseason titles. After moving to Big Sky, this year the team participated in the tournament for the second consecutive time. It shared the league's regular-season title with Portland State.
Daniella Irle, Deputy Director of athletics, will be managing the volleyball program in the interim.
"It's a very difficult situation for me," Faison said. "I've known Ashley for a long time as a coach and as an individual. These things are never easy. This is even more difficult. But we absolutely expect our coaches to adhere to high standards both in their personal life and in the coaching profession. We don't shy away from that. At the end of the day, we want to do what's best for student-athletes."