Merchant replaces McCallie at Michigan State

Updated: April 30, 2007, 11:02 AM ET
Associated Press

Suzy Merchant was hired as the women's basketball coach at Michigan State on Monday after coaching Eastern Michigan the past nine seasons.

She replaces Joanne P. McCallie, who was hired at Duke on April 18. Merchant was on maternity leave for much of last season.

"Women's basketball has gone to the next level at Michigan State," Merchant said in a statement. "A great foundation has been laid, not only in terms of winning but also in terms of the great fan base."

McCallie led the Spartans to five straight NCAA tournaments, including this year, and to the 2005 national championship game. She was 149-75 in seven seasons at Michigan State.

Merchant has a 201-120 record overall and a 147-90 mark with the Eagles. She was a candidate for the vacancy at Michigan before the school chose Kevin Borseth.

"She is a proven winner, who has the necessary skill set to take a wonderful program at MSU and continue to lead it to greater heights," Michigan State athletic director Ron Mason said.

Last season, the 37-year-old Merchant won three of four games, including the 200th of her career and a school-record 147th at Eastern Michigan. She led the Eagles to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004, when they almost upset third-seeded Boston College.

Merchant was a standout point guard at Central Michigan.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press