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Sunday, March 4, 2007
Evansville's Merfeld resigns after 14-17 season

Associated Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Evansville basketball coach Steve Merfeld resigned Saturday, two days after the Purple Aces' season ended with a first-round loss in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

The Purple Aces finished the season 14-17 with their 101-96 loss to Drake on Thursday.

Merfeld came to Evansville in 2002 following five seasons at Hampton University, including two years when he led the team to the NCAA Tournament. His five-year record at Evansville was 54-91.

"We did experience success in moving this program forward from where it was five years ago," he said.

Merfeld replaced Jim Crews, who had a 294-209 record in 16 seasons at Evansville and resigned to take the Army job. Crews' final season, however, was one of the worst in school history as the Aces went 7-21 and finished last in the conference with a 4-14 record.

Athletic director Bill McGillis praised Merfeld's integrity but said the school had expected more success on the court.

"Steve is a proven winner who, I believe, will achieve great success again," McGillis said.