Chandler Merkerson Named Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

| July 31, 2017

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State Athletics, Head Coach Carley Kuhns, and Lady Blazer basketball are proud to announce the hiring of Chandler Merkerson as the program’s new assistant coach.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to join Coach Kuhns’ staff and the VSU family,” said Merkerson on Tuesday. “I am thankful that she and the administration chose me to fill some big shoes. I believe in her vision for the program, and I look forward to helping her take the program to the next level and serving our student-athletes both on and off of the court.”

Merkerson serves as an exciting new addition to the coaching staff for the defending Gulf South Conference champions, with a list of notable accomplishments as both a player and a coach at the collegiate level. Merkerson’s experience as a student-athlete in the NCAA began at the University of North Florida in 2010, where she kicked off a career as a consistent starter for the Ospreys. Her senior season as a post player included 22 starts and resulted in a team-high 88.6 percent free throw shooting percentage.

The Florida native carried her love of basketball into a coaching career in 2014, when she transitioned into a graduate assistant role at Lincoln Memorial. While earning a Masters degree in Business Administration, Merkerson made the most of her two years and helped lead LMU to a 17-12 record in 2015-16. The successful season marked the program’s most single-season wins in over ten years and led the team to its first ever semifinal appearance in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament.

Merkerson’s success at Lincoln Memorial earned her a full-time coaching position as an assistant at Truett McConnell during the 2016-17 season, where she helped the Bears land the most wins in program history. Furthermore, the team achieved recognition as one of the top 20 defensive teams in the nation. Her experience with post play, combined with the return of two All-Conference post players (Madi Mitchell and Kenya Samone’ Dixon), is a recipe for success that excites Coach Kuhns.

“We are thrilled to have Chandler join our coaching staff. She is going to be able to connect really well with our student-athletes, and I am looking forward to watching her develop our players, especially in the post,” said Kuhns. “She has an outgoing and engaging personality, and I am confident that her unique ability to connect with individuals of all ages will bring a new energy to our efforts on the recruiting trail.”

In addition to recruiting connections throughout the southeast, Merkerson also earned experience during recent years with marketing, skill development, scouting, and mentoring.

Merkerson will officially join the program and begin work with Lady Blazer basketball on August 1st.

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