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Vaughan returns to alma mater as assistant

FARGO -- Josh Vaughan didn't have to move out of town or do much research in moving up a division to coach men's basketball. The former North Dakota State player is returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach.

He was named the team's director of basketball operations on Wednesday. The Bison women filled that position in their program with the hiring of Tom Bird.

The 26-year-old Vaughan simply had to cross the Red River after serving two years as an assistant at Minnesota State Moorhead.

"That was very beneficial," he said of his time with the Dragons. "Working under different people always helps and it was good I was able to get out on the road and do some recruiting and do some scouting reports -- those kinds of things."

His role will be different at NDSU, where his job has more off-the-court duties like video exchange and travel planning. He had the same position at Wofford College (S.C.) in 2010-11.

"I'm excited to contribute any way I can to help these guys get back to the NCAA tournament," Vaughan said.

Bird was the assistant video coordinator for the University of Florida women's program last year. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Thomas College (Maine).

He was also a men's post graduate assistant at Lee Academy Prep School from 2008-10.

Meanwhile, the Summit League released its men's and women's basketball schedule with the following travel partners after an off-season membership shakeup: NDSU and South Dakota State; Denver and South Dakota; Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne; and Western Illinois and Nebraska-Omaha.

Oakland University (Mich.) and Missouri-Kansas City left for the Horizon League and Western Athletic Conference respectively. The University of Denver will be new this year.

The league retained its mirror scheduling concept, meaning when the NDSU men open at IPFW on Jan. 9, the IPFW women will play at NDSU the same day.

NDSU has yet to release its full men's or women's schedule.