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Suzy Merchant

Michigan State University


Head Coach – Women’s Basketball
Grace Howrigon
Career Development and Mentoring
Dr. Loughran
Information
 Suzy Merchant
 Head Women’s Basketball Coach
 Michigan State University – NCAA Division I
 Interview Conducted June 28th, 2016
 Playing Experience: Four year started at CMU 1987 – 1991
 Coaching Experience:
 Assistant Oakland 1992 – 1995
 Head Coach SVSU 1995 – 1998
 Head Coach Eastern 1998 – 2007
 Head Coach MSU 07 – Present
Materials
for Interview
Questions
1. What are a few things that you can pinpoint that helped propel you
to the level you are now?
 Work ethic
 Extra mile
2. What opportunities have you found most beneficial in networking?
 Final four –
• Work/life balance
 Going to practices
3. Most important to me right now – Coaching education; What would
you recommend as some learning avenues where I could enhance my
coaching style?
 Sport psychology
 Motivating young people
 90% neck up – 10% coaching
 “Get abstract” app
Questions Continued
4. Being a Big 10 school, how do you describe the recruiting process?
(Siena – 10% of kids you recruit – recruit 100, get 10)
 “Feeding a monster”
 Just offered 8th grader
 Technology is a resource
• Smart graphics
• Vine
• Twitter
• Instagram
• Appeal to age group
5. What are some of the most important qualities you look for when
hiring new staff members?
 Work ethic
 Initiative – Don’t have to be told
 Character
 Passion
Questions Continued
6. Women’s jobs – Concerning?
 Pat Summitt – Spokesperson
• Since then, where is our voice?
• Past 5 years – Who could be and isn’t?
 Geno Auriemma – UCONN
 Dawn Staley – South Carolina
 Muffet McGraw – Notre Dame
 Enlightened by me
 Hope for women
7. If any, do you have any regrets in your coaching career? And/or
what have you seen as some common mistakes young coaches have
made?
 Different world back then – Technology
 Tons of regrets
 “We are human and we make mistakes, just don’t make life
changing mistakes”
More
 Realistic – Church
 Luck and work ethic
 Resource
 Face to face connection
 Getting the job – Up to me
Reaction to Interview
 Inspired/Motivated
 Human
 Doable; small college to big college
 Network network network
 Be a pioneer for women in industry
 Pat Summitt
 Continue to learn
 Books
 Practices
 Work ethic
 Recruiting
 Building relationships – MGBR, Siena, etc.
 Staying motivated to exceed expectations
Concepts
 Undecided Individual (Reardon, Lentz, Peterson, & Sampson, p 57)
• Passions and dislikes
• Know the direction I am headed

• Goals for Further Career Development: (Reardon, Lentz, Peterson,


& Sampson, p 64)
• Self Knowledge – Improve and strengthen skills
• Inventory values, interests and skills
Resources
 Reardon, R., Lentz, J., Peterson, G., & Sampson, J. (2012). Career
Development & Planning. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing
Company.