A True Bison Legend

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: June 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Michael Merritt, head track and field/cross-country coach at Howard University for the past 10 years, has announced his retirement from coaching.

It’s been an unbelievable run,” says Merritt. “When you first take a job you never think of things like years, wins or championships. But then, at the end, you look back and feel good.”

Merritt has a lot to feel good about. In his 10 seasons at Howard he was instrumental in the development of David Oliver, Lauren McNary and Landria Buckley.

Oliver was a 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medalist in the 110m hurdles and a three-time MEAC 110m hurdle champion, two-time NCAA All-American (60m & 110m hurdles) and a 2004 U.S. Olympic trial qualifier.

McNary is a three-time MEAC 400m hurdle champion and member of the 2005 USA Junior National track & field team. She was also a qualifier for the Pan American Junior Championships and a 2006 NCAA National qualifier. Buckley was named an NCAA All-American in the 100m hurdles and earned a berth to the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008.

He steps down on a high note. Buckley recently qualified for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championship and the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship.

During his tenure at Howard, Merritt won three MEAC women’s cross-country championships (2002, 2003, 2005) and coached three MEAC individual cross-country champions while earning MEAC cross-country Coach of the Year honors.

He has coached eight NCAA National qualifiers, 18 NCAA Regional qualifiers, 13 MEAC individual track & field champions, 104 All-MEAC track & field honorees and five USA Track & Field National qualifiers.

Merritt arrived at Howard in 2000 after 12 years at his alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s. His teams won eight cross country, five indoor and seven outdoor Northeast Conference Championships during years at The Mount.