“Steve Merfeld is an outstanding head coach who I would love the opportunity to work with again.  He is a proven winner and leader of young men. Steve had the courage and passion to take on the enormous challenge at Evansville, where the university had publicly considered dropping its program from Division I to Division III immediately prior to his arrival, and he restored a strong foundation for future success through his relentless drive and passion for excellence.  In addition to his extraordinary on-floor teaching and coaching skills, Steve understands the big picture and full responsibilities of running a major college basketball program.  He was terrific in the community - not only willing to participate, but highly interested and engaged, in every fundraising and marketing initiative we launched.  And believe me - that in itself was a nearly full-time task. Most importantly, as evident in the 100% graduation rate he achieved at UE, Steve is all about the student-athlete experience and the personal development and welfare of the young men in his program.    The guy is everything an AD wants in terms of trust, leadership, expertise, experience, maturity and enthusiasm.  He will win big again and he will do it the right way.”

- Bill McGillis, Former Director of Athletics,
University of Evansville and Current
Executive Assoc. Athletic Director,
University of South Florida

"It was a privilege to get to know Coach Merfeld at Bradley University. From the very first time I met him - when he received a perfect score on the NCAA Coaches Certification Test - it was obvious he was a person of dedication, character, and a true passion for coaching. As a professor, I enjoyed watching him in his role as a teacher during basketball camp, practice, and games. His knowledge of the sport of basketball is impressive, but more importantly is his true love for sharing this knowledge with his players. Steve Merfeld's teaching is not confined to the basketball court either, as he positively influenced and guided our student-athletes off the court as well. It is apparent that all those that came in contact with him - players, athletic staff, and other coaches - share my respect for Coach Merfeld. I would love for my son to play for Steve Merfeld…and I cannot think of a higher endorsement than that."

- Dr. Mitch Griffin, NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative, Bradley University

"I have known Steve Merfeld for more than twenty years and have worked directly with him at Bowling Green and Bradley. He is a consummate professional in every sense of the word. He is a tireless worker and has tremendous knowledge of the game. He is a "student" of the game.always reading something , talking with mentors and colleagues, always striving to further enhance his abilities as a teacher, coach and leader. Steve has integrity and a passion for working with young people. He values his role as a teacher on the court but also his role in helping to develop and shape the lives of young men. He is a tremendous coach but also more importantly, an outstanding individual."

- Virnette House Browning,
Executive Athletic Director,
Bradley University

“Steve Merfeld personifies all the ingredients one should desire in a head coach. Quality experience, knowledge of and passion for the game, care for student-athletes and integrity of your University. He is a gentleman of impeccable moral character. Winning to Steve goes beyond the scoreboard results over forty or so minutes, it is measured in the number of young men that he can help mentor well beyond their playing careers cease. Likewise, these numerous individuals that he has assisted are a testament to the overall “package” that Coach Merfeld provides, in addition to his conference championships and NCAA Tournament moments.

- Ken Kavanagh, Former Director of Athletics, Bradley University and Current Director of Athletics,
Florida Gulf Coast University

“Steve Merfeld is a program builder and a winner. He’s a coach who can recruit outstanding athletes who are also great citizens. He’s always been able to make his programs competitive, at any school and in any conference he’s worked. In his years at Evansville and at Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference, he’s had a big impact on programs with rich tradition. Merfeld is a great competitor – he’s a motivator, a teacher of the game, and someone who always seems to get the most out of his players. His teams have always played tough, fundamental basketball.”

- Doug Elgin, Commissioner,
Missouri Valley Conference

“Steve Merfeld took Hampton University to two consecutive NCAA D-I tournaments and upset #2 seed Iowa State in the 2001 Tournament. Tremendous coach and even better man; sincerely cares about student athletes performance, education, and total development; outstanding recruiter and motivator. If I had the opportunity I would hire Steve again.”

- Dennis Thomas, Former Athletic Director, Hampton University and Current Commissioner,
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

“It is my distinct pleasure to offer my recommendation for Coach Steve Merfeld, who served as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Hampton University in 1996, interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach in 1997, and Head Men’s basketball Coach from 1998-2002. During his tenure, the Hampton University Men’s Basketball team won two regular season MEAC tournament Championships (co-champs in 2000-2001), two MEAC Tournament Championships, and in 2001 won in the first round NCAA Division 1 playoffs. More personally, I have always found Coach Merfeld to be a very knowledgeable, diligent, ethical, and competitive person. His decision-making is guided by reason and his actions are guided by integrity. Steve has an overwhelming determination and demonstrated talent to succeed in athletics. I am confident that he would be a valuable member of your team and an asset to your organization. I offer my strong recommendation.”

- William R. Harvey, President,
Hampton University

“During his time as head coach at the University of Evansville, I came to know Steve as a strong leader, a great mentor to
young men, and an individual with great purpose and passion. I am convinced that his personal character qualities, coupled with the breadth and depth of his coaching experience, position him well as a spirited and determined head men’s basketball coach in a competitive program and conference. Off the court Steve was highly regarded for his commitment to his family and the thoughtful, caring, and kind manner that he extended himself to others.”

- Stephen G. Jennings, President,
University of Evansville

“I have known Steve for over twenty years. He is a quality coach with a real passion for the game of basketball. He is a relentless worker and a man of high integrity. As my assistant at Bowling Green, his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game helped us recruit talented players, improve their basketball skills, and increase community support. Steve’s success at Hampton was remarkable and unprecedented. He took Hampton to two NCAA Tournaments and beat the #2 seed, Iowa State. That win remains one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. The next year he nearly knocked off national powerhouse UConn before losing in overtime. His
ability to “X and O” is clearly a strength but his ability to lead young men is what separates him from other coaches. I am confident in saying that a school that hires Steve to lead its basketball program will be glad it did.”

- James L. Larranaga, Head Basketball Coach,
George Mason University

“The statement that I told Larry Eustachy is that you can’t take them lightly, because they have good players and they’re not afraid to play on the road. They have won 15 games away from home. That is unheard of. That’s the type of mental toughness that we are all trying to install in our teams.”

- Jim Wooldridge, Former Head Coach,
Kansas State University

“First thing: If that’s a 15, what’s a 14 or a 13 look like? We had them put away three, four times in the first half, but there was no quit in them. I am unbelievably impressed with them.”

- Jim Calhoun, Head Basketball Coach,
University of Connecticut


“Two things come to mind when I think of Steve Merfeld: Character and Integrity. If a person has those two qualities they can motivate others. Coach Merfeld gives you a true evaluation of yourself. He has a high basketball IQ and helps every player develop that same mentality. He helped me realize my abilities as a player and as a person. I will always cherish the relationship that I have with Coach Merfeld”

- Antonio Daniels, 12 Year NBA Veteran,
Bowling Green State University

“There are many impressive characteristics about Coach Merfeld. Coach has a great ability to see a player who fits his system and style of play and then go out and recruit him the proper way. He always has a plan. Most of all, Coach Merfeld can take true freshman and mold them into complete players on the court and proper men off the court. Coach knows how to push – and how to give. I am just one of many examples of success from Coach Merfeld’s approach. Due to his vision for my success off the court, I graduated from Hampton with honors, and I am still playing professional basketball. I recommend Coach Merfeld for any college that wants a positive impact on its basketball program and its players.”

- Tommy Adams, 2002 MEAC Player of the Year, Hampton University

"Coach Merfeld was an excellent leader and motivator. He is very exceptional in adapting his style of play to match the strengths of his players. He always put me in a position to succeed both on and off the court."

- Clint Cuffle, Two Time Academic All American, University of Evansville

"Steve Merfeld was the only coach, including AAU, high school, and college, who was able to develop and motivate my son to his fullest potential. Lucious blossomed under Coach Merfeld's leadership and guidance. More important, my relatively shy son evolved into a more vocal and passionate leader on and off the court. Steve is honest with players and parents and builds a family-type atmosphere with his program and team. Most important, he is a tough task master with the players, yet caring, compassionate, and concerned about developing each into a responsible man. "

- Colonel Dwayne Wagner, Parent of Player,
University of Evansville


“You think little Hampton can’t get to the big time? You’re about to be wrong. Last year Hampton had three fifth-year seniors leading the way to the NCAA. This season, Hampton had one senior, Tommy Adams, and a bunch of guys who need ID. But they went 17-1 in the MEAC, won 26 games and got here anyway. Hampton has a 6’10 inside player and a 6’9 wingman who will be eligible next season, plus a top 25 recruiting class. If you don’t know who coach Steve Merfeld is by now, you should. The big boys in Division I know how good the Pirates are, which is why they won’t play them. Hampton has two open dates on next year’s schedule; the Big East and Atlantic 10 schools won’t return a phone call – you know, bad for the RPI. But on Thursday and Friday every year, the big boys have no choice but to play the Hamptons.”

- Michael Wilbon, ESPN Pardon the Interruption

“What impressed me more than anything was not that they were once again able to achieve a tremendous level of success, but that they did so with drastically different personnel and an entirely new offensive system. Without last year’s stars, Merfeld had to completely change Hampton’s offensive style of play. The way Steve got his team to buy into something brand new so quickly and use it to dominate play the way Hampton did in the MEAC was truly one of the finest coaching jobs in the entire country this year. Anybody who watched Hampton play knows that they are for real – not just among mid-majors, but across the board.”

- Joe Dwyer,

“The most impressive thing about Steve Merfeld’s teams is that they never seem overwhelmed by the situation. They are as prepared to play Connecticut or Iowa State – both mentally and physically – as they are to play Coppin State or Morgan State. At any level of basketball, that may be the most difficult thing for a coach to accomplish.”

- Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News

“Steve is one of the best and brightest hidden gems in the profession. What he’s done at Hampton, turning the Pirates into a known commodity in college basketball, something that usually isn’t done out of the MEAC. While he may not have the national name, athletic directors should do their homework and hire him.”

- Andy Katz, ESPN

 “Hampton’s practices this week, mirroring the entire season, were clinical, relaxed and efficient. Few raised voices, no stirring speeches. The Pirates, you see, are quietly confident. They’re accustomed to winning with postseason’s pressure.”

- David Teel, Hampton Daily Press