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Mercer Bears
Mercer Bears
School Name: Mercer University
Location: Macon, Georgia
Arena: The University Center
Capacity: 3,200
Conference: Atlantic Sun
Head coach: Bob Hoffman

Mercer University is a private, coeducational, faith-based university with a Baptist heritage, located in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Mercer is the only university of its size in the United States that offers programs in eleven diversified fields of study: liberal arts, business, education, music, engineering, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law, theology, and continuing and professional studies. Mercer enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate students, 2,300 graduate students, and 2,500 extended education students in its eleven colleges and schools. Students come from approximately 40 states and 40 countries; more than 80% are Georgia residents.

The Mercer University Bears are part of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference. Men's sports include air rifle (co-ed), baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women's sports include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Mercer teams have won 13 Atlantic Sun Conference championships: three baseball, three men's basketball, two women's basketball, and five men's soccer.

Men's BasketballEdit

Mark Slonaker, men's basketball head coach, was the 2002-03 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year after leading Mercer to the best one season turnaround in NCAA history, improving from 6-23 to 23-6. The team won the Atlantic Sun regular season championship with a 14-2 conference record and made school history for number of wins (23); Mercer won 22 games in 1923-24 and 1984-85. The season ended with a loss in the Atlantic Sun tournament. Slonaker was the first National Coach of the Year to receive the award after it was named in honor of Jim Phelan. The four other finalists were Lute Olson (Arizona), Skip Prosser (Wake Forest), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), and Tubby Smith (Kentucky).

Will Emerson, a forward on the men's basketball team, was the 2004-05 and 2005-06 Atlantic Sun Conference Male Student Athlete of the Year, only the third person to be selected twice for the award. Emerson was also named to ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-American first team in 2005 and 2006.

Women's BasketballEdit

Jannell Jones was named women's basketball head coach in April 2007. Jones is a two-time NAIA National Coach of the Year; she was recognized at Oklahoma City University where she was a part of four NAIA national championship teams (two as head coach and two as an assistant). Jones is also the winningest coach in OCU history. Jones came to Mercer from the University of California, San Diego where she was head coach from 2005 to 2007 including an appearance in the 2007 NCAA Division II Final Four.

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