Jay Norvell Parents Meritt And Cynthia: Ethnicity And Origin

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Both the parents of football coach Jay Norvell are no longer in this world. His father, Meritt, was a former athletic director, whereas his mother, Cynthia, was a model.

Jay Norvell is one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. However, many don’t know about his parents and his ethnicity.

The CSU head coach is African-American, his father and mother are of black ethnicity, and their origin is of African descent.

CSU Head Coach Jay Norvell
CSU Head Coach Jay Norvell (Source: DNVR)

Meritt James Norvall is a 61-year-old football coach and a former player from Madison, Wisconsin. He played the position of linebacker.

Norvell played college football at the University of Iowa for all three years. He further went on to play in the NFL but only lasted for 1 season with the Chicago Bears.

Moreover, Norvell found his true calling in the coaching aspect. He started as a graduate assistant and then slowly started coaching multiple positions, he also had brief stints as an assistant in the NFL.

Norvell then returned to college coaching and served under the role of a co-coordinator and offensive coordinator. He worked with UCLA, the University of Texas, and Arizona State University.

Subsequently, he landed his first job as head coach in 2017 for the Nevada Wolf Pack. After 4 years with the Wolves, he joined their rivals in the Mountain West, the Colorado State Rams.

Norvell is currently serving as the Rams head coach, where he is on a 5-year contract.

Who Are The Parents of Jay Norvell? Other Family Members

Jay Norvell is the first son of Meritt and Cynthia Norvell. Both the parents have already passed on.

They met in college and dated for a while before getting married on July 4th, 1962. Talking about their ethnicity, Meritt and Cynthia Norvell were of black racial backgrounds. 

Father Meritt Norvell

The patriarch of the Norvell household was also an athlete. He played football for the Wisconsin Badgers as a halfback.

It is clearly evident that Meritt’s influence inspired Jay to take up the athletic life.

Jay's Father Meritt Norvell
Jay’s Father Meritt Norvell (Source: State-Journal)

Furthermore, Meritt is a historical figure, he fought for the upliftment of minorities in the football space. 

On top of that, he was the first ever black man to serve the role of athletic director. Meritt served in this role for 3 years at Michigan State University.

He died on October 10, 2020, at the age of 79. Meritt’s death came as a huge loss but his remarkable legacy will inspire many.

Mother Cynthia Norvell

Harriette Cynthia Norvell was the mother of CSU’s head coach, she also died at the age of 79 on May 28, 2019.

Jay's Mother Cynthia Norvell
Jay’s Mother Cynthia Norvell (Source: Estes Leadly)

Like her husband, Cynthia also broke many barriers throughout her career. She was one of the first black models in the Wisconsin region; she redefined beauty standards and set new precedents in the fashion industry.

Furthermore, she was a huge sports fan and an award-winning tennis player. She always supported her husband and sons in their athletic life.

Jay announced the death of his mother through X; she died after losing her long battle with cancer.

Jay Norvell Has A Younger Brother

Aron is the youngest son of the Norvell household and Jay’s little brother. 

He studied acting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Then he went into acting at the SAF-AFTRA.

Jay's Brother Aaron Norvell
Jay’s Brother Aaron Norvell (Source: Facebook)

Moreover, he is also in a way involved in the sporting world as he was a former football agent and recruiting officer.

He is currently working in Sales at the Honda Store, as per his Facebook.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Who Are The Parents Of Jay Norvell?

Jay Norvell was born to father, Meritt, and mother, Cynthia. 


Agraj Bhatta

Agraj Bhatta is a sports enthusiast with a talent for capturing the essence of athletes' journeys through his writing. His articles offer readers a glimpse into the world of sports, from the adrenaline-fueled highs of victory to the heart-wrenching lows of defeat.


Inspirational Stories Quotes Compilation


  • Agraj looks back on the careers of legendary athletes celebrating their achievements.
  • He explores the off-field lives of athletes, from their training routines and diet plans to their relationships.


Agraj's passion for sports journalism is fueled by a lifelong love of athletics and competition. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, he brings a unique perspective to his articles, capturing the highs and lows of the sports world with honesty and insight.

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