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Fred Fridley resigns as U-Mary's women's basketball coach

BISMARCK -- Fred Fridley, one of the most successful coaches in the history of University of Mary athletics, resigned from his position as head women's basketball coach on Monday after nine seasons.

A little more than a month from the beginning of the season, Fridley is leaving U-Mary to accept a position with Sanford Health as the director of public affairs for Bismarck and central and western North Dakota.

The Watford City native compiled a 170-91 record during his time with the Marauders and is coming off a 19-11 season.

"Leaving is never easy, especially when you have created the bonds I've been able to establish over the years at U-Mary," Fridley said in a press release.

Rick Neumann will serve as the acting head coach. The Marauders women's basketball assistant coach the past nine seasons, Neumann joined the program the same time as Fridley.

U-Mary begins practice Oct. 15. The Marauders' regular season opens Nov. 9 against Missouri Southern State at the Pittsburg State Tip-Off Classic in Pittsburg, Kan.

Fridley is the son of legendary Watford City High School football coach Fred Fridley.

He is the brother of Dickinson High School activities director Guy Fridley, who left the college coaching ranks in 2009 after successful stints as head coach for Dickinson State's softball and women's basketball teams.

In the younger Fred Fridley's nine seasons at U-Mary, the Marauders advanced to three national tournaments and captured two conference titles. Only once did the Marauders post a losing record.

Fridley coached four All-Americans, 15 all-conference performers and two conference most valuable players.

In Fridley's first season at U-Mary in 2003-04, the Marauders posted a 32-3 record, winning the Dakota Athletic Conference championship and advancing to the NAIA semifinals. He was honored as the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association's Female Coach of the Year. The following season Fridley was named the DAC-10 Coach of the Year after the Marauders captured a second straight conference title.

Beach High School graduates Brittney Dietz and Jill Rising are redshirt freshmen for the Marauders while Killdeer High School graduate Megan Klein is in her true freshman season.

In his new role with Sanford Health role, Fridley will work closely with community members and leaders throughout central and western North Dakota.

University of Mary sports information director Brian Larson contributed to this story.