The B1G family and college football world lost a key contributor recently.

According to Chris Murray with Nevada Sports Net, Merritt Norvell, father of current Nevada head coach Jay Norvell, passed away over the weekend. Jay left the Wolfpack program Monday to return to Michigan to be with his family, but he is expected to return to Nevada in time for Saturday’s season opener.

Merritt Norvell’s connections to the B1G run deep. He played collegiately as a running back for the Wisconsin Badgers and later served as Michigan State’s AD:

Merritt Norvell was a running back at Wisconsin in the 1960s and was a member of the Badgers’ 1960 Rose Bowl team. He became one of the Big Ten’s first black athletic directors in 1995 when he was hired by Michigan State and oversaw three Hall of Fame coaches in Nick Saban, Tom Izzo and Ron Mason. He was the executive director of the National Association for Coaching Equity and Development, which sought to develop, educate and advocate for minority coaches.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Norvell family as they deal with his passing.