Head coach Suzy Merchant expecting 2nd child in spring
MSU women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced following Thursday’s exhibition game with Wayne State that she and her husband Gary Rakan are expecting their second child in late May or early June.
“It’s perfect basketball coaching timing and that was hopeful for us,” Merchant said. “It won’t affect the season at all. We’re very excited, personally, but professionally just wanted to get it out there so we can focus on what’s most important, which is this team, these kids, this season and their vision to win a championship.”
Merchant will be well into her pregnancy when the Spartans begin postseason play, something she noted to her team when she informed them Tuesday, a time senior center Lauren Aitch said the team “couldn’t stop smiling.”
“We’re so happy for her,” senior center Allyssa DeHaan said. “She’s so funny. She said she wanted to be the first big pregnant lady cutting down the nets, so of course we support her and we love her family.”
Said Merchant: “I was kidding someone, I said, ‘You know, everyone says TV adds 10 pounds, well for me it’s going to be about 30.’ Hopefully people don’t think I have a basketball up my shirt.”
Merchant said she did not find out the gender of her first child, Tyler, 3, beforehand, but will do so this time to help prepare Tyler.
Merchant coached just four games during the 2006-07 season after giving birth to Tyler while at Eastern Michigan. Associate coach Shane Clipfell, also on Merchant’s staff at Eastern Michigan, took over for her while she was on maternity leave.