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Merchant to return to Chippewa Valley as football coach days after leaving for Warren De La Salle

By: State Champs! Network, January 19, 2016, 10:44 pm

Warren – Just days after accepting the position to be the football coach at Warren De La Salle, Scott Merchant is heading back to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

After accepting the position to be the head coach at De La Salle last Thursday, Merchant said he had time to reconsider.

"I woke up Saturday, and it just didn’t feel right," he said. "Of course I discussed it with my wife (Amy) and we decided it would be best for me to stay at Chippewa Valley.

"I wish I didn’t have to go through this. I don’t want De La Salle to go through this. I changed my mind. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I wish De La Salle all the best."

Merchant also sent a reply via email stating his desire to thank the De La Salle administators incluidng athletic director Brian Kelly, principal Pat Adams and president John Knight, and the search committte for offering him the job.

Merchant went on to say, "while my  heart remains with the Big Reds,  I believe that De La Salle is a good  opportunity for a football coach and educator, and I am certain that they will find an excellent coach to take the job.  I wish them well."

De La Salle released the following statement on Tuesday night to State Champs! reporter Joe Cochran:

"Coach Scott Merchant contacted the De La Salle administration on Tuesday to inform us that after much thought and and discussions with his wife, he has decided not to accept the offer to become the next head football coach at De La Salle. He informed us that while he was excited by the opportunity, he realized that he and his family were not ready to make a career move. Scott is a terrific person and we wish him the very best."

De La Salle will re-open its search for a new head football coach to replace Paul Verska, who retired at the end of the 2015 season.

Next fall, Merchant will enter his 8th season as coach of the Big Reds and will look to lead Chippewa Valley to the postseason for a fifth straight season.

"I helped build this program," Merchant said. "I know what I have there. I never got that feeling of getting past Chippewa Valley. They helped me run a first-rate program. I know De La Salle is a first-rate program.  

"At heart I’m a Catholic League guy. But we do things at Chippewa Valley that are like that in the Catholic League."

Merchant coached at U-D Jesuit and at Birmingham Brother Rice, his alma mater, before going to Chippewa Valley.

Joe Cochran, Jeff Dullack and Tom Markowski all contributed to this report.