Ed Merrick, both as a player and coach, became a legend at the University of Richmond. He entered Richmond as a freshman in 1936 and started off playing football, but he also played basketball and baseball. He was named All-State in football in 1938-1939 and voted the outstanding tackle in 1938-39-40.
Merrick was named to the All-Southern team three years and was the first college player from the State of Virginia selected to the College All-Star game in Chicago in 1940. He played with the Richmond Rebels in the Dixie League and was named to the 1st Team All Dixie League. Merrick started coaching the University of Richmond freshman football team in 1940.
Merrick entered the United States Air Force as a private in 1942 and separated from the Air Force in 1946 as a Major. He received the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism and five battle stars. He returned to his country and served as Head Coach at Fork Union Military Academy with a record of 41 wins and 10 losses, defeating Columbia Military Academy’s undefeated team by a 42-0 score in the Orchid Bowl Game in 1950. He coached the Academy from 1946-50.
Next, Merrick became Head Football Coach at the University of Richmond, where his team played the toughest schedule in the history of the University against such football powers as Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, West Virginia and Syracuse. Twice he was named coach of the year in Virginia. He was also named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1958 and is a Charter member of University of Richmond Hall of Fame.