BETHANY, Okla. (Aug. 21, 2013) – Jarred Merrill, a former NAIA Division I player of the year and a member of the Oklahoma Christian Athletic Hall of Fame, has been hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Southern Nazarene.
Merrill will work under SNU head coach Adam Bohac and alongside fellow assistant Jon West. It will be the first collegiate coaching job for Merrill, who went 7-1 against SNU during his playing career for the Eagles.
SNU is in the third year of the NCAA Division II membership process and competes in the Great American Conference. The Crimson Storm and OC are longtime archrivals and will play each other twice during the 2013-14 season, on Nov. 12 at OC and on Nov. 30 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
“I’m very excited to work with coach Bohac and coach West this season,” Merrill said. “God has blessed me with a great opportunity to get my foot in the door at the NCAA level. What's most intriguing is getting a chance to work and develop young college athletes. I developed most between the age of 18 and 23, so I feel very confident in helping other young men blossom and reach their goals on and off the court.
“If I can have half the career as my former coaches Dan Hays, Bob Hoffman and my new athletic director, Bobby Martin, I should retire happy one day.”
Merrill, from Abilene, Texas, was the top post player in OC men’s basketball history, earning NAIA player of the year honors as a senior in 2005. The two-time NAIA All-America first-team pick and two-time Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year finished his career as OC’s leading career scorer with 2,189 points and second on the career rebounding list with 1,120.
He was the first Sooner Athletic Conference player to record 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
He twice was named as the NAIA player of the week and also holds school records for single-season scoring (821 points), career field goals attempted (1,487), career free throws made (650) and attempted (795) and season free throws made (259) and attempted (311). He shares OC’s record for career double-doubles with 59.
Merrill went on to play professionally in Spain, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bahrain, Lebanon and South Korea, as well as in the U.S. in the NBA Development League, the American Basketball Association and the United States Basketball League. He retired from professional basketball in 2011 and spent last season as an assistant boys coach at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City.