Merchant hired as next head football coach at Warren De La Salle
By Joe Cochran and Jeff Dullack
Scott Merchant, the coach of Clinton Township Chippewa Valley for the past seven years was named the football coach at Warren De La Salle, beginning in the 2016 football season.
“We are thrilled to have a coach of Scott’s caliber coming to De La Salle," De La Salle athletic director Brian Kelly said in a story posted on the school’s website. "His track record as a head coach, and success and experience in the Catholic League, will be invaluable as he carries on the great traditions of our program. He will be an asset to our school, community, and our student-athletes.”
Longtime De La Salle coach Greg Esler said he is more than pleased with the hiring of Merchant.
“I met him when he was at U-D (Jesuit),” Esler said. “I’m excited about him coming here. I had a lot of respect for his program there. I had a good relationship with (former De La Salle football coach) Paul Verska, too.
“Everyone wants to get in the Catholic League. He’s a Catholic League guy. The (Macomb Area Conference) is a tough league. But the Catholic League is tougher.”
De La Salle football coach Paul Verska announced his retirement at the end of the 2015 season and led the Pilots to the Division 2 state championship in 2014.
Merchant is a graduate of Birmingham Brother Rice and previously served as head coach at U-D Jesuit for nine years, and as an assistant as Brother Rice before coaching at Chippewa Valley.
“My family and I are truly honored to have been presented with the opportunity to be part of the community at De La Salle Collegiate," Merchant said. "It was a really tough decision (to leave Chippewa Valley). Chippewa Valley is in a good place right now. We’ve been through a lot together. The people there treated me well.
"De La Salle is a Catholic school. It’s who I am. I was blessed to go to Brother Rice. (The Catholic League) is unique. Most of the coaches in the Central Division are there for a very long time.
"My wife went to Catholic schools. It’s in the fabric of our family."
The Merchants have two children.
Chippewa Valley was 7-3 last season, De La Salle was 6-4. Both lost in the first round of the state playoffs.
Toim Markowski contributed to this report.
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