Jay-Norvell
Jay Norvell | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Merritt James Norvell III
  • Nickname Jay Norvell
  • Nationality American
  • Birth Date Mar 28, 1963
  • Age 59 Years, 1 Months
  • Birthplace Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • Occupation Former football player, Head coach
  • Father Merritt Norvell
  • Mother Cynthia Norvell
  • Brother Aaron Norvell
  • Ethnicity African-American
  • Net Worth Undisclosed
  • Relationship Status Married
  • Zodiac Sign Aries
  • Wife Kim Norvell
Head Football Coach at Colorado State University

Jay Norvell | Biography

Former professional football player

During the introductory press conference on 7 December 2021, Norvell said he left Nevada for CSU for better facilities and CSU's support for football. However, Duke Ritenhouse of Reno Gazette-Journal reported on 10 December 2021 that Norvell's exit from Nevada "came down to money." According to the Reno Gazette-Journal journalist, Norvell "went from being the Mountain West's lowest-paid football coach to its highest-paid in the space of a few hours."


Jay Norvell is a football coach who presently serves as the head football coach at Colorado State University. He previously served at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Who is Jay Norvell?

Merritt James Norvell III, alias Jay Norvell, is a college football coach and former player. He was born on 28 March 1963 to his parents, Cynthia and Merritt, in Madison, Wisconsin. He belongs to the African-American ethnicity.

Norvell's mother, a former model and tennis player, passed away in May 2019. Unfortunately, he also lost his father a year later, a former Wisconsin running back and Michigan State University's first African-American athletics director. 

Norvell played college football as a defensive back from 1982 to 1985 at the University of Iowa, where he completed his bachelor of arts degree in 1986. He later played football professionally for one season with the Chicago Bears in 1987.

Norvell kicked off his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa in 1986. He served as an assistant coach for college football teams of Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas, and the Arizona States. 

Following three decades of a career as an assistant coach, Norvell became the head coach of the Nevada Wolf Pack football team in 2017. He spent five seasons with the Nevada Wolf Pack, leading the team to four bowl games. The National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches named him the 2020-21 College Coach of the Year in May 2021.

Shortly after that, he left Nevada Wolf Pack and became the Colorado State Rams head coach on 6 December 2021.

Why Did Jay Norvell Leave Nevada for CSU?

During the introductory press conference on 7 December 2021, Norvell said he left Nevada for CSU for better facilities and CSU's support for football.

"What makes (Colorado State) better is the resources; the resources of the football program. This place supports football; this place is committed to football. And this place wants to have a winning, championship program," he said.

However, Duke Ritenhouse of Reno Gazette-Journal reported on 10 December 2021 that Norvell's exit from Nevada "came down to money." According to the Reno Gazette-Journal journalist, Norvell "went from being the Mountain West's lowest-paid football coach to its highest-paid in the space of a few hours."

The article further reported that Norvell's $625,000 base salary, which was deducted to $619,000 as a part of COVID-19 reductions, ranked 11th out of 11 head coaches in the Mountain West in 2021. Meanwhile, Craig Bohl of Wyoming, who had a $1.59 million salary, was ranked the highest-paid coach. 

Additionally, according to USA Today's 2021 contract years database, Norvell's 2021 salary ranked 113th out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision-level head coaches at public universities.

Also Read: Jimbo Fisher - Age, Wife, Son, Net Worth, Salary

Norvell's salary suddenly rose after he joined CSU as the head coach. As per a five-year term sheet he signed with CSU, he would receive a base compensation of $1.6 million for the 2022 season, and his salary would rise by $100,000 per year.

He would receive a base salary worth $9 million over five years. He would also receive additional incentive bonuses.

His Brother is an Actor

Jay has one younger brother named Aaron Norvell. His brother is an actor known for his roles in film and television series like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Pointless Pleasant (2005-2006), The Last Ride (2004), and Desire (2006). 

Jay's brother often appears playing the roles of a police officer, military member, firefighter, or guard. In addition, his brother appeared as a cop in many television series, including Head CasesDays of Our Lives, and General Hospital.

His Wife is a Cancer Survivor

Jay is married to Kim Norvell. He took to Twitter on 6 July 2021 to wish his wife their 25th anniversary, posting alongside the pair's wedding picture.

Jay Norvell wife
Jay Norvell with his wife Kim Norvell in 2021 (Photo: Twitter)

Kim is recognized as a strong woman. Jay's wife was born in 1968 with cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Even though CF is generally treated before birth, Kim's family couldn't diagnose and treat the disease on time.

Kim was diagnosed with the disease after about six months of health issues after she was born. Doctors said she would most likely die before first grade. However, she and her family fought to overcome CF. 

Kim then grew up and met Jay at the University of Wisconsin. They eventually married and welcomed their son named Jaden. 

Kim was later diagnosed with colon cancer, a type of cancer that develops in the large intestine, during her routine colonoscopy in 2007. Fortunately, she survived colon cancer after undergoing surgery to remove cancer and 13 inches of her colon.

However, Jay's wife continues to fight to overcome CF. She struggles every day as her morning routine includes coughing for an hour to shake up her organs to get her airways clean before starting her day.

Are Jay Norvell and Mike Norvell Related?

Despite having the same last name and working in the same field, Mike Norvell and Jay Norvell are not related. 

Michael Kelly Norvell is the current head coach at Florida State University in the United States. Mike has previously served as an assistant coach at Memphis Tigers, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Tulsa, and Central Arkansas.

Fact-checking and Ethical Concerns

We assure our audience that we will remove any contents that are not accurate or according to formal reports and queries if they are justified. We commit to cover sensible issues responsibly through the principles of neutrality.

To report about any issues in our articles, please feel free to Contact Us. Our dedicated Editorial team verifies each of the articles published on the Biographyhost.