Merlin Priddy

HHS Class of 1956

1952 - Freshman Year

1953 - Sophomore Year

1954 - Junior Year

1955 - Senior Year

1955 State Final Trophy

2016 HHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

Dr. David Priddy, Merlin Priddy, & Congressman Roger Williams

1955 State Playoffs - A Tough Run vs Weslaco

2016 Induction - Merlin and David Priddy

1952 Game

1955 vs West

1960 - Stripling JH

1965 - AHHS Coach

1978 - AHHS Head Coach

1959 TCU Program

1960 All-American Bowl (#38)

1955 Super Centex

2005 - Centex Super 50 (with teammate Micky Jackson)

1955 State Finalist

1955 Team in 2014

Merlin Priddy was a four-year letterman (1952-55) for the HHS football team. Merlin served as one of the football team tri-captains in 1955 season with teammates Mickey Jackson and Robert Himmel. Mr. Priddy was selected to the All-District team in all four seasons that he played. He also earned All-State honors in both 1954 and 1955. Other football honor from the 1955 season include: Super Centex and All-American. While at HHS he also played baseball and ran track. He was the High Point Individual at the district track meet in Waco in 1954. While attending HHS he was also a member of the Lettermen’s Club (1953-55), he was selected as the sophomore and junior class favorite, was a member of the Civics Club and served as Parliamentarian (1954-55), was a member of the English Club (1955-56), and was a also a member of the Thespian Club (1955-56).

Some of Mr. Priddy’s favorite memories during his high school career came as a result of the sports he participated in. Merlin enjoyed driving up and down “The Drag” and hanging out with “Curry Dog.” Other memories include his time in R. D. Rattan’s class. Of course, you can’t leave out one of his best memories…..dating his wife Sondra.

After graduating from HHS, Merlin went on to Texas Christian University. There he was a three-year letterman (1957-59) for the football team playing fullback behind All-American Jack Spikes. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry during his career as a Horned Frog. His junior season saw him with an average of 6.6 yards per carry. Mr. Priddy earned several awards while at TCU. He was selected as the Frog Club Most Valuable Back in the TCU/SMU game in 1958. For his efforts while at TCU Merlin was selected to play in the 1960 Optimist All-American Bowl in Tuscon, Arizona, where he was named the Most Valuable Player. Merlin graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in the spring of 1960. He later returned to TCU to complete a Master of Education in 1969.

Because of his feats at TCU, Merlin was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts of the NFL and the Buffalo Bills of the AFL. Merlin signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills in the spring of 1960. Playing fullback for the team during pre-season he received an injury that ended his playing career.

Merlin married the former Sondra Walker in 1956. They have two children, David and Lisa. Lisa is married to Jeff Flood. Lisa and Jeff have one child, Jack Flood. David is married to Libby and they have three children: Lindsay Priddy Cooper, Walker Priddy, and Shelby Priddy. Lindsay Priddy is married to Russ Cooper. Lindsay and Russ have one daughter, Lily Grace. Lily has a little sister, Ella Rose, that was due on October 28, 2016.

After graduating from TCU in the spring of 1960, Merlin began his coaching career at Stripling Junior High School in the Fort Worth I.S.D. He won two city championships in football and track during his two years at Stripling. He then moved up to Arlington Heights High School where he spent the remainder of his coaching career. From 1962-67 he served as the assistant varsity football coach. The team won the district championship in 1965. Merlin also served as the head baseball coach from 1962-66. During this time he won 98 games while losing only 17. He had two zone championships, two district championships, and one state tournament qualifying team during his tenure at the helm of the baseball program. He served as the head track coach at Heights in 1967-68, winning the district championship in 1968.

Merlin became the head football coach at Arlington Heights in 1968. For 22 years he led the Yellow Jackets as head coach. His teams won 9 district championships (1968, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1978, and 1987. In 22 years as head football coach, Merlin’s record at AHHS at 138-100-6. He then became the Area Advisor for the FWISD Student Affairs. He held this position until his retirement in 2003. After 43 years Merlin retired to raise cattle on his farm near Itasca. He continues his work on the farm today raising hay.

During his career Merlin also served his profession. He served as Chairman of the Selection Committee for the 5A North Texas High School All-Star Football Team in 1980, member and past director of the Texas High School Coaches Association, and member and past president of the Fort Worth Coaches Association.

The Hall of Fame Committee is very proud to add such an outstanding individual as Merlin Priddy to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Congratulations on your selection into the Hillsboro High School Athletic Hall of Fame-Class of 2016.

Merlin passed away on his farm near Itasca on May 9, 2017. He was most-definitely a character of the game........and he will be missed! Farewell to an outstanding Hillsboro Eagle!