Suzy Merchant will participate in her second coaching assignment with USA Basketball as the head coach for the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team. Merchant was previously an assistant coach with USA Basketball in 2009, where the USA went undefeated with a 7-0 record and took home the World University gold medal, topping Russia 83-64 in the championship game.
Merchant is currently in her 12th season (2007-08 to present) as Michigan State University head coach and her 23rd year as a collegiate head coach.
During Merchant’s 12-year tenure, the Spartans have captured Big Ten Conference regular season titles twice, in 2011-12 and 2013-14. She holds a 465-253 (.648)
career record (all records as of March 11, 2019), has led the Spartans to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced her team to the WNIT title game in her first year as head coach.
In 2018-19, the Spartans finished 20-11 overall, 9-9 in the Big Ten, and 15-1 at home, with wins over No. 3 Oregon, No. 9 Maryland No. 16 Iowa and No. 18 Minnesota. This past weekend, Merchant and the Spartans beat Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Maryland in the Quarterfinals.
Despite injuries throughout the 2017-18 season, the Spartans made the Sweet 16 of the WNIT and finished with a 19-14 overall record and 7-9 Big Ten record. In 2016-17, MSU reached the NCAA Tournament with a 21-12 record, going 9-7 in the Big Ten. In 2015-16, MSU finished with a 25-9 overall record, 13-3 in the Big Ten.
In Merchant’s first season at Michigan State, she took the youngest team in the Big Ten to their seventh straight postseason run. They advanced to the championship game of the WNIT and Merchant tied for the most wins (23) by a first-year Spartan basketball coach in MSU history.
Prior to MSU, Merchant spent nine seasons (1998-99 to 2006-07) as head coach at Eastern Michigan University, where she departed as the winningest coach in program history with a 147-91 record (.618 winning percentage). She also coached at Saginaw Valley State (1995-96 to 1997-98) and before becoming a head coach, she was an assistant coach at Oakland University from 1992-93 to 1994-95).
The Traverse City, Mich. native graduated from Central Michigan University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in health and fitness and received her master’s degree from Saginaw Valley State in 2000. While at CMU, Merchant was a four-year starter and three-year captain. She holds a record for assists (463) and single-season assists (156) and is tied for first in single-game assists with 11. She finished her career third-best in made 3-point field goals with 75. In 2010, she was inducted into Traverse City Central High School’s Hall of Fame.