Merritt Norvell Dies

By Gary Scott on October 20, 2020 at 9:50am

A Jacksonville High School sports Hall of Fame member and one of the first black athletic directors in the Big Ten died yesterday in Michigan.

     Merritt Norvell served as athletic director at Michigan State starting in 1995. He was believed to be one of the first black athletic directors at a major college in the US. He held that post until 1999.

     Norvell was a running back at Wisconsin in the 1960s, and played on the Badger Rose Bowl team his senior year in 1963. This followed a half of fame career at Jacksonville High School. He graduated here in 1959.

     His wife, Cynthia died at age 79 about a year ago.

     Their son, Jay, coaches football at the University of Nevada.

     Funeral services are pending.