Former Millsaps College standout Brian Merkel is the new assistant coach to the Hendrix College men’s basketball team.

Merkel will replace Drew Gaeng, who was named the Warriors’ interim head women’s coach after four seasons as the men’s assistant, on fourth-year head coach Thad McCracken’s staff.

Merkel will also serve as the assistant men’s golf coach.

"Our program is very fortunate to have been able to hire someone of Coach Brian Merkel’s caliber at this point in the year," McCracken said. "Having seen him carry himself so well as a player and to have had the pleasure of knowing him as a coach, I am very confident he will succeed in this position and help in the growth of the men’s basketball program."

Merkel was a three-year starter at point guard for Millsaps College appearing in 88 games during his career. Merkel led the Majors in assists during his final three seasons. Merkel also served as team captain as a junior and senior and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court in 2011 and 2012.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Merkel averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for St. Michael the Archangel High School. He was an all-district selection in 2008 and named to the Louisiana Coaches Association All-State Team that same year. Merkel was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Merkel served as St. Michael’s freshmen and junior varsity head coach while also serving as the varsity assistant during the 2012-13 season. Also, he was an assistant coach with the Red Storm AAU basketball program.

Merkel graduated from Millsaps in 2012 with a degree in Business Administration and minors in Economics and Communications. He received his MBA in the summer of 2013 from Southeastern Louisiana University.