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MSU women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant is stepping down

FILE - Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant signals from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Merchant announced Monday, March 13, that she has stepped down as Michigan State’s women’s basketball coach, citing health concerns. The 53-year-old Merchant had not coached the Spartans since she was in a one-car crash after a medical incident in late January. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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FILE - Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant signals from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Merchant announced Monday, March 13, that she has stepped down as Michigan State’s women’s basketball coach, citing health concerns. The 53-year-old Merchant had not coached the Spartans since she was in a one-car crash after a medical incident in late January. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Michigan State University women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant is stepping down from the program.

Suzy Merchant has been absent from the sidelines as head coach of the MSU women’s basketball team since late January following a car accident.

On Monday afternoon, she came to a mutual decision with MSU Athletic Director Alan Haller to officially step down as head coach of the program, citing health reasons. The move is effective immediately.

Merchant took over at MSU in 2007 and, while with the Spartans, compiled a 327-186 record, reaching the NCAA Tournament 10 times. She also won the Big Ten regular season title twice, first in 2011 and again in 2014.

Merchant was named Big Ten Coach of the year in 2011 and reached the Sweet 16 in 2009.

“After much consideration and consultation with my healthcare providers, I have come to the difficult decision that it is in my best interest," Merchant said in a statement. "I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the entire Michigan State community, including the administration, faculty, and staff.”

Associate head coach Dean Lockwood will continue to serve as the interim head coach while a national coaching search is conducted.

Al Martin is the host of Current Sports, the daily radio call-in program from WKAR NewsTalk. Al is also on the WKAR News team as a regular sports contributor and plays a key sports reporting and content role on all other WKAR media platforms.
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