CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois women’s basketball coach Nancy Fahey is making a big change on her coaching staff, hiring former Marquette standout Scott Merritt. He replaces associate head coach LaKale Malone, who had been with the program since 2012.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Scott to our staff,” said Fahey in a statement. “He is a proven winner and recruiter who has played and coached at the highest levels of our game. Scott has been an integral part of the success at Marquette. He excels at player development and I am excited for our players to grow under his guidance. His hard-working attitude and great character make Scott a perfect fit for our Illini family.”
Merritt made a run to the Final Four playing for the Golden Eagles in 2003. He’s been an assistant coach for his alma mater for the past six seasons.
“I can’t express how excited I am to join Coach Fahey’s staff,” Merritt said in a statement. “She has an amazing vision for where she wants this program to go, and I look forward to representing the Orange and Blue.”
Fahey will not name an associate head coach to replace Malone right now, according to a team spokesperson. Malone worked at Illinois under two different head coaches, originally hired in 2012 by Matt Bollant. She was retained when Fahey took over, promoted to associate head coach in 2015.