Inducted in 2009
Merle Hutson came to Crestline in 1932 after graduation from Heidelberg College. He already had five years of starting football experience at Braden High School when he started what would become one of the most outstanding careers at Heidelberg College. He was an All-Ohio Tackle for three consecutive years and was voteís team captain his senior year. After graduation, coach played professional football with the Cleveland Indians of the Old National League for one year and then played Semi-pro for ball for The Crestline Merchants from 1933-1935.
As a first paid full time coach, he inherited a football team that had not won a game the previous season. Coach Hutson the proceeded to begin a football and basketball dynasty that saw his teams win 11 championships in the former league of six nations. His career football coaching record at Crestline was 120-55-5 and for his 10 years he served as the only Varsity and JV coach for football and basketball. Although his coach career was interrupted by military service during World War II, he returned to coaching again in 1946. Crestline was now part of The Ohio Northern League. Hutson continued to coach until the 1952 season when he retired. He continued his love for sports by coaching in the city parks during summers.
Coach Hutsonís career was honored in 1971 when the Ohio High School Football Coaches elected him into their Hall of Fame. He was enshrined during the north/south game held in Canton on August 13, 1971. Heidelberg's athletic hall of fame recognized his skill by inducting him on October 11th, 1986. And on September 26th, 1975 the Crestline Football Field was renamed Hutson Stadium in his honor. As further testament to Hutsonís coaching abilities, many of his players received local, college, and All-Ohio honors. His personal influence on many others has prompted them to pursue coaching as their profession at the high school and collegiate levels.
Few sports figures in Crestline history have had the enduring and far reaching influence on youth that Coach Merle Hutson had in 1939 Crestline was acclaimed Ohio High School Class B Champion.
- Football Bob Frye leading scorer in state 1939
- 1941 All-Ohio guards Lou Cellini And Paul Keltner
- 1942 Bob Frye varsity letter winner Ohio State National Champions
- 1947 All-Ohio High School End Don Gehrisch
- Paul Winemiller-All-Ohio conference quarterback at Wittenberg College.
Upon his death on July 24, 1999 he endowed Crestline High Schoolís annual Peg and Merle Hutsonís Scholarship fund which awards in the neighborhood of $25,000 in scholarships each year.