Merl M. Norcross

About This Inductee

Merl graduated from Kingston High School in 1945, where he earned 2 letters in football, 2 in basketball, and 3 in track. Merl was undefeated in 1943-44-45 in the 200- yard low hurdles, and was also the District II PIAA champion in the low hurdles in 1943-44-45. He was also state champion in the 220 in 1945. Merl enrolled at the University of North Carolina, where as a freshman, he led his football team in pass interceptions. After his freshman year, Merl served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1947. Merl went on to graduate from North Carolina in 1950 and then received his Master’s in Education in 1951. As a member of North Carolina’s football team, he played in the 1949 Sugar Bowl, and also in the 1950 Cotton Bowl. Merl was also a member of North Carolina’s indoor and outdoor Southern Conference Track championship teams in 1949-50. Merl began his coaching career in 1951 as assistant football coach at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina. He was named head basketball coach and assistant football coach the next year at. Mooresville, North Carolina. Then through 1977, Merl was assistant football coach, freshman junior varsity basketball coach at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. His greatest coaching achievement was when he was named head track coach at Worchester Polytech in 1954 through 1994. In his 40 years as head track coach, his teams had 26 consecutive winning seasons. He helped train and develop 7 All-Americans and was named New England Coach of the Year in 1987 Division III track. Merl was also named to the Track and Field Rules Committee from 1972 to 1976. He was elected into the Worchester Polytechnic Institute of Massachusetts Hall of Fame in 1986. He retired in 1994 as Professor Emeritus from Worchester. Merl lives in Holden, Mass., with his wife Sandra. They have 2 married sons and one grandson. Locally, Merl has a sister, Shirley Norcross Littleton, Forty Fort; Brother John, Kingston; and Brother Albert, Forty Fort.