GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) – University of North Dakota Director of Athletic Bill Chaves announced Wednesday that UND head volleyball coach Mark Pryor has resigned, effective June 15, 2019, and will pursue another opportunity back in his home state of Texas.
“Coach Pryor submitted his resignation effective June 15th today. First and foremost, I want to thank Mark for his all of his efforts here at UND,” Chaves said. “The program was highly successful during his tenure and he has no doubt left the position very desirable for someone to come and continue the tradition of excellence. I have had several conversations with him over the past few months and I know that returning back to Texas will be a great thing for both he and his family. By providing us this timeframe, it gives us a head start in searching nationally for his replacement but also provides stability in transition. Finally, we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Pryor’s five-year tenure at UND included 117 wins, three Big Sky North Division titles, two league tournament crowns and the only two NCAA Division I Tournament appearances in the program’s history. He helped mentor the only two All-Americans in UND’s D1 era (Sydney Griffin, Faith Dooley) and produced a pair of NCAA statistical leaders (McKenzie Hart- 2015 [digs], Faith Dooley- 2017 [blocks]).
“We came to North Dakota for the professional opportunity… the opportunity to do something that had not been done here before. I can say that I genuinely believe that we have done that, and my wife, Amanda, and I are extremely grateful that we were able to be a part of a special program and a special community here in Grand Forks,” Pryor said. “Like I said, I came here for the professional opportunity, but I am leaving for personal reasons. I think that everyone who has coached at this level can at least identify with this decision in at least a minute way. Amanda and I have been married for almost 11 years. In another 11, our youngest will be graduating from high school and heading off to college. The wins are great, and the competition is great, but I have come to the conclusion that being able to experience a better work-life balance is much more important.
“We will be moving back to Texas to be closer to family, and for me, it will present me more opportunity to really be actively involved with a church, and to spend more time with Amanda, Myles, and Mason. I just have a real desire to be much more involved and more present for my family, and I know that I can’t do that while coaching at this level. Some coaches can, but unfortunately, I’m just not wired that way.
“Leaving this community is absolutely the hardest thing about this decision. We have really grown to love the genuineness and the authenticity of the people here, and we absolutely know what ‘North Dakota Nice’ really is all about.”
North Dakota tied the wins record twice (2014 and 2016) at 26 then obliterated it in 2017 with a school-best 30-8 record. Pryor leaves with a 117-58 record (.669) at UND, third-most for wins among any volleyball coach in the school’s history.
A national search will begin immediately for Pryor’s replacement.