Skeete and Merritt Join Marquette as Assistant Coaches
June 3, 2014
Milwaukee - Marquette University women's basketball head coach Carolyn Kieger has announced the hiring of Vernette Skeete and former Marquette men's basketball standout Scott Merritt as assistant coaches with the program.
Skeete joins Marquette after two years as head coach at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., and will be primarily responsible for the development of MU's guards. The 2012-13 NJCAA Region 8 Coach of the Year led the program to a 50-13 record through two seasons and won a state championship in 2013.
"I am very excited to welcome Vernette to our Marquette family," Kieger said. "I have had the pleasure of working with Vernette and am thrilled to share her passion once again. She has an amazing ability to motivate and inspire everyone around her and her enthusiasm towards the game and development is infectious. Vernette's ability to recruit and build relationships will be a huge asset in helping build our program. The sky is the limit here for Vernette and I am glad she is joining our journey."
Skeete spent three years at the University of Miami working alongside Kieger as coordinator of basketball operations and two seasons as assistant coach. During her tenure the Hurricanes became a leader in the Atlantic Coast Conference and earned consecutive No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to Miami, Skeete spent the 2008-09 season at Northwest Florida State College in Destin, Fla., as well as five seasons with the Essence Girls Basketball Club program. During her 2005-08 seasons at Malone High School, she brought the program back to former glory by returning them to the state final again in 2006-2007. Skeete was also the MVP of the 2001 FHSAA State Championship as a player at Malone, the first-ever in the history of Malone girls' basketball. As a player at Gulf Coast State she led her squad to a NJCAA National Championship from 2001-2003 and led Alcorn State to a SWAC conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005.
Skeete graduated from Alcorn State University in 2005 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.
Merritt graduated from Marquette in 2004 and played for the Golden Eagles' 2003 Final Four squad. He is a four-year letterwinner and sits at 37th all-time on MU's scoring list with 1,049 points. Merritt averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds throughout his career as a Golden Eagle and is 14th with 697 career rebounds.
"I feel very fortunate to bring Scott Merritt back into the Marquette family," said Kieger. "He brings a passion for the game and University that is unique and unrivaled. With his basketball knowledge and ability to develop post players, I believe our front court is in great hands. Scott has been a part of a Final Four team and has won at the highest level. I am excited for him to bring that experience to our program and instill greatness on a daily basis. We have very high goals and expectations for our program and I am confident Scott will help us reach them."
Merritt most recently served as Assistant AAU Coordinator at DTA in Milwaukee and was a boys' varsity assistant coach at Menomonee Falls High School last season. He will oversee MU's post player development.
Following his playing time at Marquette, Merritt spent seven years playing professional basketball overseas, leading Bornova BLD in Izmir, Turkey to a Division Two championship and title for the 2008-09 season and Tochigi Brex of Utsunomiya, Japan to a Japanese Basketball League Championship and Title in 2009-10.
Merritt also played in the National Basketball Association Development league and led the Columbus Riverdragons to a NBDL regular season title in 2004-05 while earning second place Rookie of the Year honors and second team All-NBDL accolades.
Merrit and his wife Ashley live in Milwaukee with their two children, Laila (3) and Isaiah (22 months).