The College of Staten Island’s Athletics Program is saddened to report the loss of Dr. Harold Merritt, who recently passed away. Dr. Merritt served as the Director of Athletics at CSI from 1999-2006 and was a key figure in the history of the College of Staten Island at the Division III level as part of the City University of New York Athletic Conference.
During his tenure at CSI, Dr. Merritt presided over one of the biggest achievements in the program’s history as CSI won the CUNYAC Commissioner’s Cup in 2001. The award recognizes the most outstanding program in the conference each year and was awarded to the College of Staten Island for the first time ever under Dr. Merritt’s leadership. In a ceremony held at Baruch College, Dr. Merritt accepted the award on behalf of CSI, and later that year, the Cup was accepted at the CSI Awards Banquet by CSI President Dr. Marlene Springer from CUNYAC Commissioner Zak Ivkovic.
In addition to the accolades achieved by the CSI programs, which amassed a total of 23 CUNY Championships and six NCAA Tournament berths during his tenure, Dr. Merritt was one of the driving forces behind the installation of turf fields for Soccer and Softball, a move that carried with it the launch of a Women’s Soccer team in 2004 (CSI’s Cheerleading team was also added under Dr. Merritt’s tenure the year prior). Dr. Merritt also started the Men of Color Action Group within the program, and he was elected to coach the first CUNYAC Goodwill Tour Basketball Team in the Dominican Republic in 2003.
During his time at CSI, which to that point was the longest among Directors since the campus moved its facilities from Sunnyside to Willowbrook, Dr. Merritt was a part of multiple committees both on and off campus and at the local, regional, and national levels to help promote the College and the direction of NCAA Division III Athletics. He also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the College teaching History of the African American Athlete.
Dr. Merritt departed CSI for a similar position at the University of Washington D.C. in 2006, but student-athletes continue to experience the impact of his tenure during his time at the College of Staten Island to this day. For more on the 2001 Commissioner’s Cup click here. Service information can be found below.
Harold M. Merritt Funeral :
Saturday, January 13, 2024
Bland Reid Funeral Home
413 Griffin Blvd
Farmville, VA 23901
– Story Courtesy of CSI Athletics