HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Jarred Merrill, an assistant basketball coach at Mercer University, was announced as the new head basketball coach for Coker College at a meet and greet held Wednesday morning at the college.
“We conducted a nationwide search for a new coach,” said Vice President for Athletics and Athletic Facilities Lynn Griffin. “Jarred quickly rose to the top of our candidate pool.”
Merrill just finished his fourth season with the Bears and helped guide them to two playoff appearances from the Southern Conference which includes locally popular schools such as Wofford, Furman and The Citadel.
After thanking Coker administrators and players for the opportunity to be at Coker College, he turned his attention to giving a brief overview from his perspective of where the program should be going forward.
“It will always be about the players,” Merrill said. “Win the day. And after you win some days, you win a week; and after some weeks, you win a month.”
Merrill talked about creating relationships and making bonds with the players, creating an environment of success on and off the court.
“We want to make sure that every one of our kids are loved, taken care of and all get their degrees,” he said. “I know y’all don’t know me, but I want to build a relationship with you.”
Prior to Mercer, Merrill was an assistant with Southern Nazarene University, whose team took third place in the NCCAA national tournament in 2013.
Merrill played his college ball at Oklahoma Christian University where he was NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
He holds the all-time scoring record of 2,189 points at OCU and ranks second all-time in rebounding with 1,120. He shares the OCU record for double-doubles with 59.
He played professionally in seven countries as well as domestically in the NBA development league, the ABA and US Basketball League.
He holds a bachelor of science of physical education from OCU and a master’s of science in management from Southern Nazarene University.
He is married with three children. They are planning to relocate to Hartsville.