BRYAN - Since 1971 Viking Stadium has been the home of the Bryan Vikings. Friday night the stadium will host its 37th season of Viking football as the Big Blue host Cy Falls. During a special halftime ceremony the stadium will be renamed Merrill Green Stadium in honor of the school's longtime head coach Merrill Green.
Green coached the Vikings for 20 years starting in 1972 and advanced to the playoffs 8 times, twice making it to regionals.
When the Bryan Independent School District decided to open a second high school recently, Superintendent Mike Cargill knew it wouldn't be right for the Rudder Rangers to play at Viking Stadium. Cargill presented the idea to the school board to rename Viking Stadium without Green's knowledge.
It was quite a secret for the group to keep considering Merrill Green is the district's School Board President.
There are a number of football stadiums across the state that are named in honor of a school's football coach. Friday Night Merrill Green will receive that same honor when Bryan, Texas, becomes the home of Merrill Green Stadium.
Green came to Bryan High in 1972 after 7 seasons at Abilene Cooper. He took over a Cougar program in 1965 that had lost 18 consecutive games and within 2 years had them playing for a state championship.
During his 7 season in Abilene the Cougars made a total of 4 post season appearances.
Now Green jokes that he had no knowledge of Bryan other than the fact that he thought they played Odessa Permian well when he came across a scout film of that game in 1971. Little did he know that making that comment would bring him to Bryan just over a year later.
Merrill's career coaching record is 197-82-9. He made a total of 12 trips to the playoffs during his 27 seasons on the sidelines and took two different programs to the regional round of the playoffs.