"I am proud and excited to have a quality coach like AnnMarie Gilbert on my staff," said Merchant. "She's just a class act. Recruiting her to stay on staff was one of my first priorities as the new head coach. She is an incredible asset to have, and she's proved how valuable she is to the program through her coaching and recruiting skills."
Gilbert was instrumental in luring several of MSU's top recruit to East Lansing and Merchant had made it a priority to retain her services.
"From the moment she stepped on campus, Suzy Merchant welcomed me with open arms," Gilbert told the Lansing State Journal. "I can't tell you how happy and excited I am to be staying at Michigan State."
Merchant must have been nearly as happy and excited as Gilbert, after all, she helped secure one of the nation's top recruiting classes which includes forwards Kalisha Keane (Hamilton, ON), Lykendra Johnson (River Forest, IL), guard Brittney Thomas (Bolingbrook, IL), forward Cetera Washington (Kalamazoo, MI) and forward Taja Wilson (Penn Hills, PA).
If they all stick with MSU the five young standouts will join to team with star Alyssa DeHaan to give MSU a solid nucleus upon which to build.
Merchant now focuses her attention on retaining those players. She is expected to lose assistant Al Brown who is likely to join former coach JoAnne P. McCallie at Duke.