Salisbury University Head Coach Josh Merkel enters his fourth season leading the men's basketball team in 2014-15.
In 2013-14, Merkel guided the Sea Gulls to a 14-12 record and an appearance in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. Salisbury finished with a 9-7 record in league play and hosted a first-round conference tournament matchup.
In his second season in 2012-13, Merkel led SU to a 19-8 overall record, including a 9-3 mark in the CAC. Salisbury advanced to the conference semifinals and hosted a tournament game for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when Merkel was a Salisbury senior.
For the second straight season, the Sea Gulls knocked off No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan College, 76-67, on Dec. 17. Salisbury also won the 15th annual Tip-Off Tournament at Lycoming College and the GU Holiday Classic at Gallaudet University.
Senior Travon Vann was named to the All-CAC first team while
junior Tim Harwood earned second team honors. Vann also was the
first SU player to claim all-region recognition from D3hoops.com as
he was picked for the All-Middle Atlantic Second Team.
In his first season at the helm, Merkel guided the Sea Gulls to 12-13 overall with a 5-11 mark in the Capital Athletic Conference. Merkel's Sea Gulls earned arguably one the biggest wins in program history on Nov. 22, 2012 with a 68-56 home victory over then-No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan College. The win capped a season-opening four-game winning steak, which began with SU defeating Stevenson University, Frostburg State University and Johns Hopkins to claim the school's first Pride of Maryland Tournament championship.
Merkel was named the sixth head coach in Salisbury history on May 10, 2011.
A 2001 graduate of Salisbury University, Merkel was a four-year letter winner on the men's basketball team playing in 98 games while averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. During his senior year, as team captain, Merkel started in 24 games, playing 33.5 minutes and scoring 13.6 points. With Merkel on the team, the Sea Gulls posted a 55-47 record.
“I am extremely excited and eager to return to Salisbury University as head basketball coach,” Merkel said. “I am humbled and grateful for the belief placed in me by Dr. Vienna and the committee. The opportunity to lead a championship-caliber basketball program at Salisbury is what I consider to be the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Merkel spent the 2004-05 season as a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia University, making a trip to the Elite 8 as the Mountaineers climbed as high as No. 12 in the national rankings before gaining his first collegiate head coaching job.
Merkel spent five seasons on the bench as an assistant at Division I Eastern Kentucky University. During Merkel’s final four years with the Colonels (2006-10), the program put up its most wins in a four-season stretch (73) and made an NCAA tournament appearance after winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in 2007, taking on the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
Merkel spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at Randolph-Macon College, where he helped lead the team to a 25-5 overall record, including the 2011 Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament championship and a share of the regular-season title. Randolph-Macon also advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament this season.
Coach Merkel News
8/30/12 Merkel to join Coach Wood at Varsity Club Luncheon this week
5/10/11 Josh Merkel named sixth men’s basketball head coach in program history
|2013-14||14-12||9-7||CAC First Round|
|Totals||45-33||23-21||2 CAC Tournament Appearances