Former Vergennes Union all-star joins Panther staff
MIDDLEBURY — Former Vergennes Union High School and Skidmore College standout basketball player Connor Merrill has been hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Middlebury College.
The Panton native joins the Panther program after spending the last two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Middlebury men’s basketball program and strive to continue the unprecedented successes in recent years,” said Merrill. “I am looking forward to working alongside Head Coach Jeff Brown and learning from him, as well as getting to know our players and help them achieve their goals.”
Brown welcomed Merrill aboard.
“We are excited about Connor joining our Middlebury basketball family,” Brown said. “He was a tremendous and versatile player at Skidmore. His coaching experiences at Springfield and Vermont Academy will serve our student-athletes well and add value to our program. Connor’s passion for teaching and recruiting is at a high level and he will be involved in all facets of our program.”
Merrill graduated from Skidmore in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He went on to obtain a Master of Education degree with a concentration in athletic administration from Springfield this summer.
On the court Merrill became a four-time All-Liberty League selection as a Thoroughbred, including a first-team nod following his senior season. The 2014-2015 tri-captain graduated as Skidmore’s career leader in blocked shots (212) and ranked ninth in rebounds (543). Merrill became the program’s 14th 1,000-career point scorer and stands seventh in career scoring with 1,256 points and helped lead Skidmore to NCAA Division III tournament appearances in 2012 and 2015.
At VUHS during his senior year Merrill averaged 18.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game, leading all local players in each of those categories. He reached 1,000 points in the Commodores’ first-round playoff win that season.
Merrill has been a part of the Springfield coaching staff for the past two winters. In 2018 he helped guide the program to its first NCAA D-III Final Four appearance with a 22-9 record.
Following graduation from Skidmore, he served as an assistant boys’ varsity basketball coach at Vermont Academy. While there, Merrill was a part of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class AA Coaching Staff of the Year and helped lead the team to the school’s first NEPSAC Class AA Championship.
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