Coker chooses new basketball coach

Coker College Vice President of Athletics and Athletic Facilities Lynn Griffin has announced Jarred Merrill as the new head coach of the Coker men’s basketball team.

“Coker partnered with Athletic Staffing and Consulting to conduct a national search for our next basketball coach and Jarred rose to the top of an exceptional list of candidates,” stated Griffin.

“He has been successful at his previous institutions and brings the recruiting connections that that are essential to the success of the program. We are all excited about the future of Coker men’s basketball with Jarred at the helm.”

Merrill comes to Coker after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Mercer University.

While at Mercer he helped guide the Bears to two postseason appearances, including a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2018 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

He recruited and developed more than nine All-SoCon players during his time at Mercer, including two-time selection Stephon Jelks.

In addition to his coaching duties, Merrill was in charge of the Mercer Basketball Annual Coaches Clinic and Bob Hoffman summer basketball camps.

“My family and I are grateful to call Hartsville our new home and we are so honored to help lead the Coker men’s basketball program into the future,” said Merrill.

“We are very appreciative to President Wyatt and Dr. Griffin for this amazing opportunity.

“Our family is excited to ingratiate ourselves into this remarkable community and build as many new relationships as possible. We are so happy to be Cobras!”

Prior to his time at Mercer, Merrill spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Southern Nazarene University where he led the Storm to a third-place finish at the NCCAA National Tournament in 2014.

He also spent time as a coach at Bishop McGuinness High School where he was instrumental in his team finishing the 2013 season as the Oklahoma State High School Finals runner-up with a 24-5 overall record.

In addition to his coaching prowess, Merrill was a standout player.

He finished his career at Oklahoma Christian University as the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,189 points) and was a Hall of Fame Inductee in 2013.

Also, he is second in career rebounds with 1,120 and shares the OCU record with 59 double doubles.

He was named the NAIA Division I National Player of the Year and upon graduating played professionally in Spain, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bahrain, Lebanon and South Korea, as well as in the U.S. in the NBA Development League, the American Basketball Association and the United States Basketball League.

Bob Hoffman, former Mercer men’s basketball head coach, says: “Coach Merrill has great experience at different levels of the pro ranks, which he brought to recruiting and individual workouts with our guys. His demeanor and attitude about the game is tremendous.”

Merrill graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and he holds a Masters of Science in Management from Southern Nazarene University. He and his wife, Candace, are the parents of Jaya, Mannix and Jarred Jr.

Author: Rachel Howell

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