After nine seasons as the Marshall University head women's tennis coach, Laurie Mercer moved to the position of assistant women's tennis coach for the Thundering Herd in 2003. During her tenure as head coach for Marshall, Mercer led the Thundering Herd to unprecedented success and rewrote the Marshall coaching record books. She finished her career as Marshall's head coach by leading the team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and the 2002 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament championship.
Mercer, now a volunteer coach, has more than 14 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level. Prior to the Thundering Herd's NCAA tournament run in 2002, Mercer led Marshall to a 2000 MAC regular season championship, a 1997 Southern Conference regular season championship, and a 1997 Southern Conference Tournament championship. During her nine seasons, Mercer compiled a career record of 142-74 and was the first coach in school history to surpass 100 career wins. In addition, her teams were consistently ranked in the top 75 nationally, and in the top 15 regionally, throughout her career.
As a player, she competed in college at Furman University, playing number one singles her senior season and number one doubles for three seasons with the Paladins. While at Furman, she won five individual Southern Conference Championships and helped lead her team to two Southern Conference Championships.
During her playing career, Mercer was named to the All-Southern Conference Team four times and was an Academic All-Conference selection. In 1992, she was named to Furman's Tennis Team of the Decade. She graduated from Furman in 1990 with a bachelor of science degree, and finished her career at Furman by representing the United States in Western Europe as a member of the National Athletes in Action tennis team in 1990.
In addition to her collegiate accomplishments, Mercer worked for two years as a graduate assistant at Furman while earning her master's degree in health and exercise science in 1992. During her two years as a graduate assistant coach, Furman earned two Southern Conference titles.
After her stint at Furman, she was named assistant women's tennis coach at the University of Houston before moving on to take over the Marshall program.
The former Laurie Johnson is married to current head coach John Mercer, and has three children: daughter Cassie, born February 25, 1996, son John Jeremiah, born July 16, 2000, and son Andrew Jacob, born June 7, 2005.
LAURIE MERCER QUICK FACTS:
2004 ITA East Region Assistant Coach of the Year - Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in 1999, 2000, and 2001 - Led team to first ever NCAA tournament in 2002 - MAC Tournament Champs in 2002 - Led the Herd to the 2000 MAC Regular Season title and 1997 Southern Conference Regular Season and Tournament titles - Led Marshall to its first ITA top 75 ranking in 1997.