Mercer Athletics expects successful seasons with new coaches, renewed staff contracts


The success of Mercer Athletics is proven through the work ethic and commitment of the coaches, who mold and guide their players. This summer, the Athletics Department has been preparing for many successful athletic seasons by renewing the contracts of both Baseball Head Coach Craig Gibson and Basketball Head Coach Bob Hoffman. In addition, Mercer Athletics recently hired Kyle Hannan to be the head Mercer Lacrosse coach.
Gibson agreed to terms on the renewed contract extension through 2017 after finishing his ninth season coaching for the Bears. With a 277-233 all-time record at Mercer, Gibson is the second coach with the most wins in Mercer’s baseball history.
This spring, the Bears were led to a 38-21 overall record and attended the Atlantic Sun Tournament for the seventh year in a row.
“I am excited to get this deal done with Craig because he exemplifies the commitment to academic and athletic excellence that Mercer stands for,” said Jim Cole, director of athletics.
“Craig is the ideal leader of our baseball program for the future and I would be proud to have my own son play for someone of his character.”
Over Gibson’s last three seasons as head coach, he has led the Bears with a 115-65 record marking the program’s best three year run. The success over the last three years with 115 wins places the bears at the 29th in the nation.
Gibson graduated from Mercer in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation. While at Mercer, Gibson was a four-year member of the baseball team where he received the 1985 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award after his junior season. Gibson also received his master’s degree in social science from Mercer in 1988.
In addition, Mercer’s Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Hoffman was rewarded after last year proved to be the most successful men’s basketball season in Mercer’s history. Hoffman’s new five-year contract will lead him to continue his head coach position through the 2016-2017 season.
“Bob has done a tremendous job taking the men’s basketball program to new heights,” Cole said.  “We were proud to extend this offer and look forward to the team’s continued success on and off the court.”
The Bears previous season was one to set records as they won the Tournament championship and finished their season with a 27-11 overall record. That season record established the program record for single-season wins.
Hoffman holds a 75-61 as head coach since beginning in the 2008-2009 season. The Men’s Basketball team has qualified for the Atlantic Sun Championships all four years he has coached for Bears. Hoffman’s 75 wins in four seasons holds the program-best win total over a four-year period.
Hoffman has been recognized by, where he was listed among some of the nation’s elite coaches.
Bleacher Report and also gave him recognition where the Bears were among the season-end top 25 mid-major polls.
Mercer Athletics has also taken a step forward with the lacrosse program as they recently hired Head Coach Kyle Hannan to lead the program.
Hannan has 19 years of experience as a head coach and will begin his coaching role as the team moves to the Tony and Nancy Moye Family Football and Lacrosse Complex, which is expected to open in early September.
“I am extremely excited and proud to announce the hiring of Kyle Hannan to lead our men’s lacrosse program,” Cole said.
“Kyle quickly rose to the top of our search list because of his reputation in the lacrosse world, not only as a coach but more importantly as a person of high character. Kyle, his wife Angie, and their two children are a welcome addition to the Mercer family and the middle Georgia area.”
Hannan has produced an overall 179-122 record throughout his 19 years as a head coach, including a 128-71 record in his most recent coaching at Goucher College in Towson, Md.
Hannan spent 12 years as a coach at Goucher. Prior to his work with Goucher, Hannah was the head men’s lacrosse coach at Colorado College from 1998-2000 and Virginia Wesleyan College from 1993-1998.
Hannah received his education at Salisbury University where he graduated in 1986 and was a four-year starting midfielder for the Sea Gulls.
As a player, he received the Charles B. Clark Award for Salisbury’s best all-around men’s lacrosse player in 1985.
“I want to thank Director of Athletics Jim Cole and President William D. Underwood for providing this opportunity to my family,” Hannan said.  “I’m excited to continue developing my relationship with them and the entire middle Georgia community.”