Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott has announced that Steve Merfeld will be promoted to a newly-created role as Director of Player Development, while Patrick Sellers will replace Merfeld as an assistant coach with the program.
Merfeld has spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Creighton, during which time the Bluejays have won two MVC Tournaments and one MVC regular-season title. He has been heavily involved in working with CU’s post players, as well as scouting, recruiting and scheduling.
Merfeld owns 10 years of head coaching experience, having spent five years each at Evansville and Hampton, and 27 years overall as a Division I basketball coach. He is a 1984 graduate of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
“I was approached about this possibility a month ago, and certainly will always have what is in the best interest of the Creighton Basketball program as the driving force behind every professional decision that I make,” said Merfeld. “We have great challenges ahead as we move forward into the Big East Conference. The opportunity to assist and be involved in the day-to-day operation and decision-making process is extremely appealing to me.”
“We needed the Player Development position as we move to the BIG EAST, and Steve Merfeld is a perfect fit for it,” said McDermott. “For us it will be like having two head coaches on staff. He’ll be involved with every decision that’s made in the program, and we’ll use his experience to help put together a plan for players to develop from a fundamental, social and academic standpoint. Steve and I had a conversation that this was necessary for our program to move forward in the BIG EAST, and he was 100% on board with the change.”
Sellers was an assistant coach at Hofstra last season, and owns previous experience as an assistant coach at Connecticut, Massachusetts and Central Connecticut State. He also coached one season professionally in China with the Shanxi Dragons.
Sellers is a 1991 graduate of Central Connecticut State, where he was named East Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Following college, Sellers played professionally in the British Basketball League before joining the coaching ranks at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain, Conn., where he led his team to back-to-back state playoff appearances in 1998 and 1999.
“I’ve been an East Coast guy most of my college coaching career, but I’m very excited to get out to the Midwest,” said Sellers. “I went out there a couple weeks back and was blown away. The facilities and fan support were unbelievable. It’s a very exciting to be a part of a program like that. Coach McDermott is a great coach and I look forward to working with him and his staff.”
“We were looking to add someone that brought some ties to the East Coast from a recruiting standpoint,” said McDermott. “If we were able to attract someone that had experience in the BIG EAST, that was a positive. With Patrick, I feel like we found both. Having coached at UConn for six years, he understands what it’s going to take to be successful in the BIG EAST and has scouted many of those programs in the past. Everyone I talked to about him raved about what a quality person he is, and I’m confident that his recruiting contacts on the East Coast and nationally will have a positive impact on our program.”
Creighton finished 28-8 last season, reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament for a second straight campaign. The Bluejays will return three starters for next season, and joins the BIG EAST Conference on July 1, 2013.