GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Suzy Merchant, the women’s basketball head coach at Michigan State University, is stepping down due to health reasons, the school announced Monday.
Associate head coach Dean Lockwood will take the role of interim head coach, effective immediately, while the search for a new coach begins, MSU said in a release.
“After much consideration and consultation with my healthcare providers, I have come to the difficult decision that it is in my best interest. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the entire Michigan State community, including the administration, faculty, and staff,” Merchant said in a statement.
Merchant has a record of 327-186 at MSU and a career record of 528-306, according to MSU. In 2011 and 2014 her team won Big Ten titles.
In 2011, Merchant was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
“I have had the privilege of coaching some of the most talented and dedicated young women in the country. The opportunity to mentor, lead, and empower young women has been the honor of a lifetime,” she wrote in the statement. “Over my 28 years as a head coach and the last 16 years at MSU, I have been blessed to work with incredible assistant coaches as well as staff members that have shared the love of the game, mentoring young women, and were passionate about the Green and White. I am truly grateful to each of you for your time, energy, and dedication to our program. Much admiration and love to you all.”
Merchant also gave her “heartfelt appreciation” to MSU fans and thanked Lou Anna Simon, a former president at the school, and Mark Hollis, a former MSU athletic director.
She said she is “eternally grateful.”