Lisa Merritt enters her seventh year as a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Department serving as assistant athletics director for academics.
Merritt joined the athletics department after serving for 11 years in the LA Tech speech department with her husband Kevin where she taught speech classes while serving as an academic advisor for students majoring in speech communication.
She is a member of a senior staff at Tech that was instrumental in the University receiving an invitation to join Conference USA starting July 1.
Since joining the Tech athletics department, Merritt has helped the University's student-athletes excel in the classroom as proven by the fact LA Tech's graduation rate continues to be one of the highest in the state (Federal Graduation Report).
This past year Tech student-athletes boasted an all-time high 76 percent four-year graduation success rate. Tech football was recognized nationally in 2012 with the Academic Achievement Award presented by the American Football Coaches Association while the Bulldog golf team earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award for three straight years.
For the fifth consecutive year, Louisiana Tech saw impressive improvements in the majority of its Academic Progress Rates (APR) as all 16 of its NCAA sanctioned programs are penalty free for the third consecutive year. Tech also saw Bulldog football player Ray Holley and Lady Techster softball player Erin Kipp earn Capitol One CoSIDA Academic All-American honors during the 2012-13 school year.
Tech's student-athletes also show incredible diversity when it comes to majors as each of the University's five colleges and virtually every degree program on campus boast at least one Tech student-athlete.
In her current role, Merritt oversees the student-athletes' academic progress and success while advising them regarding class schedules and degree plans, monitoring eligibility status and providing general academic guidance.
Merritt also runs the athletic academic center, provides "Life Skills" seminars for student-athletes, meets with prospective recruits, and serves as faculty advisor for SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee).
SAAC is a pro-active group of student-athletes communicating views or comments on WAC and NCAA rules and governance, which helps to ensure academic and athletic excellence for all student-athletes. Members of SAAC are also active in various community service projects such as hosting an annual Halloween carnival as well as serving as greeters for the annual St. Jude's Radiothon, participating in the Big Event, and supporting the WAC's charity of choice.
Merritt oversees and reviews the advising process to ensure compliance with both university and NCAA policies and serves as a liaison between faculty and coaches, as well as speaks at "New Faculty Orientation" each fall and during the year to the University Senate. She also meets recruits and their families to describe the college experience and how it will affect the student-athlete.
Merritt earned her bachelor's degree in agricultural economics in 1991 and master's in speech communication consultancy in 1994 both from Oklahoma State University. She and her husband taught conversational English in Kyoto, Japan, for one year before coming to Louisiana Tech.
Outside of work, Merritt is a huge health and fitness buff who loves cycling (road and mountain), running and swimming. In 2002, Merritt and her husband completed the Florida Ironman Triathlon
Merritt and her husband Kevin reside in Ruston and have a nine-year old daughter named Maisie and a two-year-old daughter named Ivy.