Brett Merritt is in his second season as the volunteer assistant baseball coach at the University of Toledo. Merritt brings five-plus years of coaching experience to the Rockets' program, and he has mentored over 25 players who have been drafted. He works with all aspects of the Toledo program, but his primary responsibilities will be working with the outfielders and serving as the first-base coach.
Last spring, Merritt helped Toledo capture its first MAC West Division title in school history. The Rockets' 19-8 (.704) MAC record equaled their best mark since the conference went to three-game series prior to the 2004 campaign. Overall in 2012, UT sported a 30-27 ledger and secured a spot in the MAC Tournament for a school-record fourth-consecutive season.
Merritt came to Toledo after spending the previous two-plus years as an assistant coach at Santa Fe Junior College in Gainesville, FL. He was responsible for the development of the catchers and outfielders while assisting with all other aspects of the Saints' program, which spent a majority of last season as the top ranked junior college squad in the country.
Prior to working to Santa Fe, Merritt served as the pitching coach for Glens Falls in the New York Collegiate Baseball League from May 2007-August 2009. The Eagles' pitching staff enjoyed great success under Merritt's tutelage, as they led the league in nearly every pitching category each of his three seasons.
In 2008, the Eagles successfully defended their Eastern Division championship, and Merritt coached the NYCBL Pitcher of the Year, Shane Davis, as well as two other all-league hurlers. Davis posted a 5-0 record with 31 strikeouts and 0.33 ERA in 54.0 innings during the regular season.
During his first season in 2007, the team's ERA dropped almost two runs per game, walks decreased by 62, strikeouts increased by 69, batting average against decreased by .052 points and opponents stole 19 fewer bases. A total of three pitchers were named all-stars and two were drafted. The team set a record for most wins in a season (34) and they went from last place the previous year to division champion.
Merritt also worked as an assistant coach at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM from August 2008-July 2009. During his one season working with the Broncos, the team's record improved by eight wins. The squad's batting average also improved by nearly 100 points and they had four honorable mention all-conference players after having two total the previous two seasons. Off the diamond, the squad posted a solid 3.05 team GPA and they successfully implemented a fundraising program and raised nearly $9,000, installing a horse-shoe turf around home plate and a new sound system at the stadium.
Prior to working to NMMI, Merritt served as the pitching coach at Lake City Community College in Lake City, FL from August 2007-May 2008. In one season assisting with the Timberwolves, the pitching staff dropped its ERA by .18 runs, walks decreased by 19, strikeouts increased by 65, batting average against decreased by .027 points and HBP decreased by 16. The staff featured nine pitchers that were recorded at over 90 mph and helped them advance to the regional tournament. A total of two pitchers were named all-conference and their starting catcher was named all-state and was drafted.
Merritt got his start in coaching at Urbana University in Urbana, OH from August 2006-May 2007. In his first season working with the Blue Knights, the staff dropped their ERA by 1.08 runs, walks decreased by 69, strikeouts increased by 52, batting average against decreased by .032 points and opponents stole 22 fewer bases. The staff also tied the school record for complete games in a season with 13. The staff featured seven pitchers that were recorded at over 90 mph. A total of five pitchers were selected all-conference, including the league's Pitcher of the Year, Jaeson Hudnall. Three hurlers from the staff also signed professional contracts.
A native of Cleveland, OH, Merritt graduated from Urbana with a degree in sport management in 2007.