2014 May

Interviewing with Coach Meyer

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When my friend Paul told us about Coach Meyer’s story, we were so excited to interview him, but we were not sure if he would grant us an opportunity to do this. On getting to South Dakota, we could see Coach Meyer’s humbleness when some high school students were also present to interview him, too. As the kids were struggling to get their words out because they were nervous, he looked at me (as I was preparing to put a final push on my interview script) and said with a smile, “Hey Hope! They think this is a cake walk, huh.” I smiled back, but little did he know that I was also nervous and holding my interview papers tight not letting them fall down (smile).

I’ll never trade back the moments that I had with him. He was one of the wisest and funniest to be around and his knowledge of basketball was impeccable. Coach Meyer was so awesome and God used him to do great things!

– Hope Segun, One Hour With Hope Show

Inspired by Coach Meyer

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As we come to the end of the school year it is bittersweet for me personally. My coach, my mentor, one of my leaders, and my friend, Coach Don Meyer, passed a week ago. I have been going through some old notes and ideas and want to share them with you. I hope you enjoy these thoughts, conversations, and ideas that have been inspired by Coach Don Meyer.

– Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.

– Be the true man you seek.

– The real purpose of our existence is not to make a living, but to make a life – a worthy, well-rounded, useful, God glorifying life.

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An Unbelievable Trip

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Although I didn’t know Coach Meyer well, the few times I had the privilege to visit with him he left a very lasting impression. A couple years ago we were traveling with some friends to Knoxville to attend a Lady Vols game. We were at the Minneapolis airport waiting for our plane when Coach Meyer and his wife, Carmen, came to board the same plane. I went over to him and told him what we were doing and he said how would you like a locker room tour? Next thing I knew he was on the phone with Coach Dean Lockwood making plans for us to meet after the game. We received an unbelievable tour, got to meet some players and even got to see Coach Summitt’s office. Thanks to Coach Meyer, he made the trip one we will never forget.

– Lynn Anderson

Aberdeen’s adopted son

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Aberdeen said goodbye to a beloved adopted son Saturday during a memorial service for Don Meyer at Northern State University.

After arriving in Aberdeen in 1999 and coaching the Northern men’s basketball team for 11 seasons, Meyer made an impression on a community that came to love and embrace him.

“It feels like he was here for 50 years, but he was only in Aberdeen for 15 years,” said ESPN personality, author and Meyer family friend Buster Olney, of the late coach after the service. “Coming here for the first time in 2008 and seeing the relationship that he had developed with the town and the people, that was amazing.”

Read Article at American News

Thousands Attend Service for Coach Don Meyer

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Thousands gathered on the campus of Northern State University in South Dakota on Saturday for a memorial service to honor longtime college basketball coach Don Meyer, whose friends said his legacy of compassion for others would surpass even his accomplishments on the court.

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Memorial Service Arrangements Set for Legendary Coach Don Meyer

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ABERDEEN, S.D. – Memorial service arrangements have been set for legendary basketball coach Don Meyer, who passed away Sunday after a courageous six-year battle with cancer.

A memorial service was held in Aberdeen, S.D., on the campus of Northern State University at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 24, in the Joseph H. Barnett Center on Don Meyer Court.

A second memorial service will be held in Nashville, Tenn., on the campus of Lipscomb University at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, on Don Meyer Court in the Lipscomb University Allen Arena.

A Telling Phone Call

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The first coaching videos I bought were Coach Meyers. One of the videos was broke so I called a number off the handouts that came with the videos. I did not expect my call to be answered by his Mom. In the background I could hear a lawnmower running as she hollered for him. He came to the phone and took care of my concern. I remember thinking here is a D1 coach who undoubtedly could have others taking care of my problem and the grass cutting, but is doing it himself.  Humility & hardwork…the first  lessons of a young and aspiring coach….thank you Coach Meyer…so grateful for his contributions. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Jerry Blazick

A Fax from Coach Meyer

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I had the honor of attending many of Coach Meyer’s clinics. This story is about a clinic at Taylor University.  Coach was going through the Zone Offense action, “Loop – Skip”.  We are all novice coaches compared to Coach Meyer, so I kind of got lost when he was explaining it.  He always was so willing to share and communicate with Coaches at all levels, so I emailed him.  I asked him to email, mail, or fax me “Loop-Skip”. 

A few minutes later a HAND WRITTEN fax came to me at school.  WOW !!!  Don Meyer just wrote out “Loop Skip” for me !!!!

Thanks Coach Meyer for all you have done for all of us.  Basketball just won’t be the same without you.  We will miss you.

Matt Weikert

He Was Known

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Carmen and Don were always very generous to invite my husband, Coop, and me to go with them on various trips when Don was speaking or otherwise engaged in various activities. Once we had tagged along to Cincinnati (I think because Don had gotten some passes to a Cincinnati Reds game from one of their coaches whom he had befriended).

We were leaving the stadium after the game and were just outside the team locker room with Carmen, Don, and his coaching friend, when we heard a crowd from behind a fenced-off area yelling “Hey, Coach, can we get your autograph?” We just sort of ignored the crowd and walked on. My thought was: “Aren’t we special to be walking with this baseball coach.” Then we heard call again: “Hey, Coach Meyer, can we get your autograph?” That was when I felt VERY special to be Don’s friend!

Frances Cooper

Thank you Coach Meyer

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Our daughter has not forgotten the time that a top basketball coach made sure that she had a piece of cake at a past reception where he was in attendance–she was about 10 at the time. Our son has not forgotten the time that a top basketball coach took time out of his busy schedule to make sure that he got to the right place in a crowded Barnett Center–and he was about 10 at the time.

Those small and caring acts to “insignificant” people, along with his big and caring acts, touched more people than he or his family knows. We were so pleased to hear the speakers and music today at the Memorial to Coach Meyer at Barnett Center–what an impact he made, and what a testament to his good heart and good works both personally and professionally.

Jeffrey and Deborah Jay

How Coach changed my name (The story of Josh)

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My first week of student coaching for NSU’s Men’s basketball team started the same year of coach’s car accident. Saying that things around the Barnett Center were hectic would be an understatement. The whole year flew by with tons of memories, but one in particular stands out to me more than the rest.

Being one of the new guys on the team, not a lot of people knew my name. I had been introduced to the team probably once or twice and things went as normal for a couple of days until one particular practice. We were running full court drills, so people were running around and yelling back and forth. Everyone’s attention on the players on the court. Suddenly coach started yelling across court, but no one was responding to what he was saying since he was the only one on that side, and we really couldn’t hear him. The rest of us continued on, but as we did the yelling grew louder and people started to notice that he was yelling, “JOSH!” repeatedly over at the portion of the team that was off court including the other coaches, student coaches and me. As the yelling became louder and louder, players stopped playing on the court and people started to look around for this Josh guy that no one seemed to know. Being new to the team I probably had a handful of players’ names down, so I didn’t have a clue as to who this Josh guy was and why he wasn’t answering Don Meyer. Eventually as Meyer continued to exclaim and point across court people started to move away and that finger ended up right at me. I looked behind me to find no one. As that happened a player ran across to him and whispered in his ear, “Coach, his name is Andy… not Josh” In disbelief of what he had done, he put his head down with his hands on his face. At this point I thought, “oh boy, what have I done!” and I’m sure the rest of the team felt about the same way. Suddenly though he started to smile and that turned into laughing which caused quite an uproar of laughter throughout the gym as he apologized for the confusion.

To this day, players and coaches call me by Josh, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact I have a picture of coach and I signed to Josh. It showed the lighter side of coach and definitely loosened the tension at practice. And that’s one moment that I’ll never forget about one of the greatest men that I have ever met.

Thanks, Coach Meyer, I appreciate everything you have done for me.

– Andy (Josh) Hansen

An all-around good guy

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I just want to say I never thought I ‘d go to many games at Northern because after high school I just lost interest in college sports. But when he started breaking records I was hooked!! I have t-shirts, books and a cardboard cut-out on my wall!! I used to have to laugh at it because of where he autographed it, right by his nostril. Now since he passed away I almost cry when I look at it!! We’ll miss you coach!! Hope God has a team in heaven that you can coach or mentor!!

When he was a coach and a spectator of the game, he stood at attention towards the flag with his hand over his heart!!

– Nolan Geffre

Eagles Don’t Fly With Their Legs

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I’ve hesitated to share my personal Coach Meyer story because I did not want those who did not know him to construe his initial remarks to me as inappropriate or politically incorrect, but here goes. As secretary for the student body at Lipscomb University (David Lipscomb College at the time), I would on occasion make some kind of announcement in our daily Chapel gatherings. I have a form of muscular dystrophy and stairs were a challenge, especially in the days before ADA regulations made for more accessibility. I depended heavily on handrails and would go one step at a time, but always kept going.

I had met Coach briefly on occasions, but never had the opportunity to really know him as many did. One particular chapel I was going up the steps behind the stage. Coach was doing the devo that morning and was waiting behind as I was going up. He asked very candidly as I was managing my choreographed routine to get up the steps, “Hey, I’ve never asked you before…why are you gimpy?” It never bothered me when people would ask. Really, I preferred it instead of them wondering. I spat out my mantra like I had done so many times, “It’s a form of muscular dystrophy. God just made my legs a little weaker than yours.” By then, I was up the last step, laughed while looking at his legs and finished saying, “Well, a lot weaker than yours.” He quickly responded, “Eagles don’t fly with their legs, remember that…I believe you will soar!” It was a moment he probably never thought of again and I will never forget. I was just one blip on his radar screen of constant encouragement and inspiration.

Take a few minutes to watch this video…he truly was a blessing to so many. Great game, Coach! You played life well!

– Ginger Johnson Broslat

Great memories

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My late husband, Wesley Arlin Brown, a former basketball coach, and I had the privilege of knowing Don and Carmen. I well remember Don and Arlin discussing basketball in our living room while Carmen and I tried to interrupt them to come to the table to eat. I wish I had recorded the discussions they enjoyed. Carmen came from a great family, Bob and Mae McCune, and she was a wonderful understanding wife for a coach. We admired them for their faith and dedication they shared with so many. Great memories!

– Jackie Brown Benham


Coach and Dad

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As I am travelling from Savannah, GA to Aberdeen, SD this weekend to honor my friend and mentor, Don Meyer, I have many thoughts running through my head. I hope these stories help inspire you on your spiritual journey through this life. Thanks for reading.

The two men that had the greatest influence in my life are both in Heaven now. Neither guy met each other during this life, but I have to believe they have met in Heaven. I learned so many lessons from each. They were so similar in the way they lived and their approach to life. Over the next few paragraphs I’ll explain the lessons I learned from each and how they affected my life.

Both were strong disciplinarians and expected the absolute best from you every day because that is the way they lived. Coach and Dad were the hardest workers that I have ever been around. They both went in early and stayed late. Both gave of themselves for the better of the whole.

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Always going the extra mile

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Coach Meyer started at Lipscomb my first year when I was the trainer for his team. He always inserted humor in life with surprise acts.

Most importantly he always went the extra mile. I recall a night when he called several of the team and we met a person at a local Krystal to talk about a problem. On another occasion he helped my wife to get to work at St. Thomas hospital in the middle of a snowstorm. He always excelled in the “little things” to build success in the big picture. He was a mentor and friend.

– Aaron Trenary

College years at Colo. St. College

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I knew Don Meyer before he was the well-known Don Meyer. We shared the basement (along with four other guys) of a house located close to the Greeley campus from 1964-67. I was a kid from Wheatridge HS Co. state basketball champs in 63. Don was a strapping, broad shouldered farm boy from Wayne Nb. He was a baseball/basketball star. We formed a close friendship playing on the freshman basketball team. I believe our coach was from Prairie View A&M, a gentleman named Moore. (not sure)   I used to tease Don about his lack of speed. I used to say he couldn’t guard a refrigerator because he ran too long in one place. He had to hurry to keep up with his shadow. His fastball was 75mph and his change-up was 74mph.   He wasn’t physically gifted but his mind was always working overtime. He would “beat” you his way–never quit—work hard—play smart. It appears he never changed.

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Parking and video stream info for Coach Meyer Memorial Service

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Officials planning the memorial service for Coach Don Meyer are advising attendees to plan ahead as a large crowd is expected and heavier than usual traffic and demand for parking around the Northern State University Barnett Center will require extra time.

Parking will be available at the Barnett Center north parking lot. Once that is filled, alternative parking will be available in the Jerde Hall parking lot across the street from Barnett as well as in the adjacent Johnson Fine Arts Center parking lot. Parking will also be available across campus in the west student lot along Lincoln and Washington Avenues.

In addition, a live video stream of the memorial service will be broadcast from the Barnett Center. The feed can be accessed at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/northern.portal#. The site will go live at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with the service scheduled to begin at 3:00. Users will simply click on the “Watch” link during the broadcast to watch the event.

The video stream and tech support are being provided complimentary by Stretch Internet, the company that broadcasts regular season athletic events for Northern State University.

Out of respect for the family, the general public will not be permitted to use hand-held cameras and/or smart phones to take photographs and capture digital images of the memorial service. Video recordings by the general public also will not be permitted.

Don Meyer’s best quotes

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“Your program must have an overriding purpose, which is clearly visible and which teaches lessons beyond winning.”

“Always be a ‘quarter’ friend: if a guy was down to his last quarter, would he call you? Always have time for people.”

“Shout praise and whisper criticism.”

“The strength of the wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf.”

“If you want to be interesting, take interest in others.”

Read Article in The Tennessean

Don Meyer was a teacher above all – Buster Olney reflects on Coach Don Meyer

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Don Meyer leaned in and, speaking forcefully, gave instructions to the college-age kid, telling him the challenge he should anticipate and advising him on what should be his next action.

Meyer coached college basketball for nearly four decades, winning a then-NCAA record 923 games with record-setting teams and players, but above all else, Meyer was a teacher.

The young man he spoke to in that moment was not a basketball player, but a farmer who had lost a leg in a combine accident just two weeks before. He had come to see Meyer at a book signing in Fargo, North Dakota, in the fall of 2010. When Meyer saw him come through the door on crutches, with one pant leg of his jeans pinned all the way up, Meyer reached for the cane next to his seat.

Read Article and Listen to Interview at ESPN.com

Don Meyer, a Coach With 923 Victories, Is Dead at 69 – NY Times

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Don Meyer, the head men’s basketball coach at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., was taking his players to a team retreat in September 2008 when his car collided head-on with a truck.

Meyer, who had been alone in his compact car, the procession’s lead vehicle, lost part of a leg and sustained multiple other injuries. When doctors were treating him they discovered inoperable cancer of his liver and small intestine.

Read Article at New York Times

The Patriot Way

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There are several vital ingredients that we will have to have in order to be Champions. The Patriot Way is a journey to becoming the best possible player and person that you can become. This journey is not an easy one and is filled with turns and pot holes along the way. Like any journey that is worthwhile, it takes time, faith, and high expectations.

The first component of the Patriot Way is hard work. There is no substitute for it. If we look for shortcuts, we will only give the minimum effort. Shortcuts do not fully develop our talents and lead to mediocrity. The Bible says “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 The second aspect of The Patriot Way is enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without great enthusiasm. Enthusiasm enables us to push as hard as we need to push for as long as we need to push to achieve our best. If you are not fired up with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious, but so is apathy.

In Romans 12:11, it says “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. “ In order to be enthusiastic you must truly enjoy what you are doing.

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JUCO World Series

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Coach Meyer spoke at our annual banquet kicking off the start of our NJCAA Baseball World Series. While his reputation preceded him, we had a number of fans asking how can a basketball coach talk about baseball. Well Coach did his thing, his love of the game of baseball and the student athlete was evident as he gave one of the most memorable speeches to our audience in the history of our banquet. Coach Meyer impacted this community and we all will remember his love for Western Colorado. Keep swinging!

– Jamie Hamilton

Servant Leader

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I feel like everything Coach ever said was about others. It was never about him. That is how he taught and coached and led. I was around him a lot during my growing up years and he taught everywhere he went, even to me, just a little girl in braids hanging around the gym. I was an official McQuiddy Gym Rat and was at countless games at home and on the road. I remember his coaching scowl, his smile (off the sidelines), his laugh, his dry jokes (“Four Corners”), his emotion on the sidelines, his love for all of his players regardless of “status” on the team, and most of all his life lessons. If your job was to encourage from the bench, he praised you for it; it was just as important of a job as being on the court. He was hard and wanted your best from you because God gave His best for us. From making us do crazy things at basketball camp in order to show loyalty to our coach, to the blue Bison Basketball notebooks, to the stories and notes on yellow, blue and green card-stock that he handed out all the time, to Arete and Attitude being painted on the locker room walls, to his lessons about picking up trash and always taking notes, his words are ingrained in me even today. I will never be able to pass trash on the sidewalk and not pick it up. He made the world a better place and left it better than he found it. He allowed God to use him thoroughly, and there is no greater life and testament to God. He used his talents and the platform he was given ALL for God, not himself. We love and miss you, Coach.

Carmen and family, You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know this journey has never been easy but the blessings you have found through it have been an inspiration to so many. May these stories be a living legacy to what a wonderful man he was and how he so thoroughly lived his life for God.

Thank you and we love you,

Nanci Carrigan Carter, AKA “Ropehead”


Do What’s Asked of You

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I played baseball at Lipscomb 1992-1995. My first two years were a wreck, i.e. lousy batting averages and lots of errors as a SS and 3B. Coach Dugan moves me to OF for last two years which ended up being better for the team and I did much better personally (better batting averages, run production, defense, etc.). Even during the tough first two years, Coach Meyer encouraged me occasionally, told me to keep chopping wood. Most people know Coach Meyer was a fine college baseball player and kept an interest in the game.

We were a little short on pitching my junior year and Coach Dugan used me as a spot starter to help the team. Early in the season I pitched a one-hit shutout against a northern team who hadn’t even practiced outside yet. After the game, I’m in the bathroom in the hallway right outside the training room and Coach Meyer walks in. I knew he had seen the game that day because he was one of about 8 fans in the stands. I’m thinking Coach Meyer is gonna say something encouraging about the game, right? So we’re standing at the urinals and he says to me very directly, “Skelton, I didn’t know you could pitch.” I say, “yes sir, I pitched some in high school.” And then Coach Meyer asks, “Does Coach Dugan still have you guys put the net out in front of home plate during batting practice to protect the grass?” Totally random, right? I say “yes sir, he does.” Coach Meyer says, “That’s smart. Dugan knows what he’s doing.” And then he zips up and walks out. End of conversation.

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Personal Touch

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My first time meeting Coach Meyer was at the East Tennessee High School Coaching Clinic at Oak Ridge High School in 2006. I remember leaving with about 10 pages of notes on basketball and life lessons. After the clinic, I went up and introduced myself to Coach and was so impressed by how personal he was with me. I was surprised that he knew me from my playing days at Belmont. He asked what the best thing Coach Byrd did as a coach and the biggest weakness he had as a coach. And he asked about how my dad was doing. My dad had bought the majority of his basketball tapes and had spoken to him once or twice before. He was learning about me the entire time we spoke. And every time I met him after that, he would always talk about something personal about me and ask about my dad. I have made it a point in my life to really get to know people on a personal level as Coach Meyer did with me.

– Steve Drabyn

The Nut

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It was just a few days after my father passed away in November 2007 that Don was scheduled to speak at the Aberdeen Lions Club. We were always anxious to learn how the basketball team was developing. Coach Meyer was a master at not disclosing too many team secrets! His speech concentrated on life lessons and jokes that targeted coaches, especially Ole and Fred. That day was special to my brother, Brian, and me. Brian displayed a walnut and asked if Coach had his nut with him and the significance of why he carried it? Coach revisited a simple life lesson. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the walnut which was well polished from being carried around for years. The lesson was plainly stated.   “Life was tough and that there will be days when you have to be tough as a nut. Therefore, I carry this to remind me of that.”   My brother had cloned Coach Meyer’s words at my father’s funeral a few days earlier and passed out a walnut to everyone who attended the service. Coach Meyer closed our meeting with his great sense of humor by saying “My nut is bigger than yours!”

– Ward Schumacher

Winning Coach

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I first encountered Coach Meyer as a Lipscomb student, decades ago. Not only was a he a great teacher — interesting, witty, funny — it quickly became apparent that he walked the walk. I followed his coaching career, and as the years passed, and I became a wife and mother of sons, we sent our sons to Coach Meyer’s basketball camps every year. Our boys loved these camps, and came home each year with notebooks. In those notebooks were the expected basketball lessons and plays, but more importantly, there were words of wisdom on how to live life. More than anyone else, Coach Meyer shared, by example and teachings, how to live for God. He was more interested in the souls of the kids he encountered than in winning the game. Because of that — he is the winning-est coach we know. He has fought the good fight, won the race, and I know there is great tournament-style celebration in heaven. Our prayers are with his family as they miss him.

– Kathy Brumit

My First Meeting with Coach

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I was coaching for the Dakota Schoolers in Omaha and coach was watching some of the players on the team. We had just finished the game and I was chasing my 4 yr old daughter who had been at the game. She ran past coach and knocked over his Diet Coke. I immediately apologized and began cleaning up the mess. Coach just laughed and said it was no big deal. He then asked for a diagram and teaching points for an out of bounds play we had run during the game. I took out a pen to write it down for him. He asked to see my pen, wrote with it, said he like it and asked where I got it. Coach loved good pens. Later that summer I got a personal note from coach thanking me for sharing the diagram with him. Still have the note to this day.

 – Tim Reck

Way more than a basketball coach

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Don, Brenda and I were all part of the NSU coaching staff for over 10 yrs and during that time he showed us again and again he was much more than just a basketball coach. He took time to post pictures of me from college around the Barnett Center just to let us both know there was always time for a good laugh and our lives did not have to completely revolve around our coaching. He often wrote notes to us when our teams had had good meets and knew when our team had done well when very few others noticed. We all attended Coach Kretchman’s bible study/coaches fellowship lunches on Wednesday afternoons. He encouraged me to think and to question the simple answer. He always had time for my sons. He would be sure to ask Aaron how track was going and to make sure he got a high five from Drew. He delivered the commencement address at Roncalli when Aaron and Ty graduated and signed books for Christmas presents that I sent out. He left Brenda and I a phone message right before we left Aberdeen that I will be forever grateful for. His record of basketball wins is impressive, but he was way more than a basketball coach. You will be missed, Don.

– Jim and Brenda Fuller

A Coaches’ Coach – Coach Don Meyer

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The first time I heard about Coach Meyer, was through a good friend of mine today, whom we met working together at a Summer Basketball Camp up in the Twin Cities. That was the Summer of 2004, when Coach Meyer had conducted his annual summer coaching academy up at Hamline University. He had told me how much Coach had had an impact on this coaching, at the time was a Head Girls Varsity Basketball Coach in South Dakota. I had took the coaches’ advice to heart, and from the moment I first met Coach Meyer that following year, in 2005, this had started a lifelong journey of soaking up all the knowledge, teaching, and life lessons that Coach Meyer so freely gave away. Over 9 years later, I am proud to say that I am a Coach Don Meyer disciple and teach his philosophies of life and basketball on a continual basis.

Coach Meyer, I vividly recall all the great memories I shared together with you at your Summer Coaching Academies, coaching at your Summer Camps, and attending your Fall Clinics on the campus of Northern St. University. The many trips I made out to Aberdeen were deeply cherished by me, because I knew at the time that I was the luckiest man alive. I had the privilege and opportunity to go and learn from a Coaching Legend, a Mentor, a Great Friend, and most of all, even a better person and man.

Which brings me to my next comment on Coach Meyer, as great of a basketball coach he is, Coach Meyer is even a better person. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for what you have done for me personally and professionally and will continue to do for the rest of my life. Not to be forgotten, Carmen, Coach Meyer’s steadfast and amazing wife, was always so kind and compassionate towards me whenever staying over at the Meyers’ house outside of Aberdeen when visiting in town for my coaching development. I will never forget, how welcome you made me feel, Coach, and Carmen, and I will forever be grateful for your hospitality and giving of yourselves to help make me a better servant leader in the coaching profession and a better man overall.

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There are so many memories that I have from attending numerous camps at David Lipscomb (college). Of course the basics will always be triple threat, shooting progression, and not bouncing a ball after the whistle blows.

But the one thing that I remember most from his camps had nothing to do with basketball. It was showing respect to the cafeteria workers that fed us breakfast, lunch, and supper. He always demanded that the campers show respect and let them know that they were appreciated.

My children will be taught the same lesson.

Thanks Coach!

– Kent Anderson, Bowling Green, KY

Coach Meyer – An Inspiration To Me and Many More

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I remember when I met Don Meyer. It was in Pierre, SD, and he was giving a talk about his life to an audience in our high school theater. I remember the wise words he told the crowd that night, but I remember what he wrote on a picture he autographed for me: “Ian: Good luck with your school work and your sports. Coach Don Meyer.” And under that, he wrote a simple message, a bible verse: James 3:13. “Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.”

Don Meyer was a great basketball coach, but most importantly, a great human being. He lived his life the way it should be, and now God has completed heaven’s basketball team with Don Meyer coaching the team to victory.

Rest in peace, Don. You were an inspiration to many, and your wise words and lessons will live for generations to come.

– Ian Coughlin 

He Built A Community & Culture At Northern

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One of my favorite Coach Don Meyer moments was when I first started working at Northern. I had been working in Student Activities for about 6 months and I got a phone call from Coach Meyer (whom I hadn’t met yet) asking me to lunch. I kept thinking, “Why on earth would a busy and successful basketball coach want to spend time with a no-namer like me who works in student life?”

I was very surprised to see that he chose to drive me to a part of Aberdeen that I didn’t know even existed, and eat at the Sip and Spin Laundromat. We ate deer summer sausage sandwiches. I knew right then and there this man had no ego, and I could learn a lot from him. Coach was very encouraging to me, and supportive of the programs and projects that we were starting on campus. During the lunch, we were interrupted by a phone call from Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, but his demeanor and conversation was no different with the famous coach than it was with the sweet lady serving us sandwiches. He treated everyone with the same level of respect, no matter who you were.

At Northern, he was not just a Coach, but a caring person who took time to cultivate relationships, regardless of what you did. Occasionally I would get an encouraging note in my mailbox from Coach that would say things like “you’re building a sense of community…it only takes a little more to go first class…” Talk about building a sense of community, that is what coach was all about – building a sense of pride and culture where everyone feels valued. A lot of people talk about building community, Coach did it. When Coach Meyer was asked to be the Gypsy Day Parade Marshal, he would only accept if the NSU #1 Fan Nate Thompson, who was developmentally disabled, could ride in the car. I know that was one of my Dad’s good memories, as he got to drive the convertible with Coach Meyer and Nate. Each year Coach would help us out with our new student orientation in the fall, and would address the incoming freshman class. His advice to these freshmen was to always stop and pause their life throughout their time in college, “Each one of you need to stop and pause your lives, and take a look at the people that you surround yourself with. They either build you up, or knock you down. Those people you associate with will ultimately define you.”

No matter what Coach did or where he was, you could always take a memory or a life lesson with you. I am so honored and blessed to have been able to call him a friend.

– Travis Sieber

Coach Meyer’s Faith

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Having been in Aberdeen for twelve years, I had the great privilege of watching Coach Meyer work the sideline during NSU basketball games. I will never forget his face and his intensity as growled into his handheld recorder. Perhaps his intensity and competitiveness as a coach may never be matched.

But my favorite memory of Coach Meyer was not on the basketball court or hearing him talk about leadership. My very favorite memory of Coach Meyer was when I attended an annual Aberdeen City-wide Prayer Breakfast. What I saw and heard him share with the attendees was one of the best and most encouraging messages I have heard in my life. He talked about his daily schedule and his daily disciplines, and how he would get up before 4 AM to pray and read his Bible.

All the experiences I had watching Coach Meyer at NSU basketball games will be cherished memories. But the thing that will stay with me for the rest of my life will be the simple encouragements he shared about his faith in God and what he did to keep his faith in God strong and alive.

Thank you, Coach, for your being part of our wonderful community. May your faith live on in many others!

– Pastor Jon Droege

The Master Motivator

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Coach has moved on to Heaven. He went HOME yesterday and as it was his best day, for all of us left behind it was a pretty tough day. I am so proud of coach and how many people he has affected for the cause of Jesus Christ. He was the epitome of servant leadership and every time I was around him I learned so much. I don’t think Coach is taking a break in Heaven, I think he is talking, teaching, loving, praising, and helping everyone there.

Life here is about dealing with loss. The longer I live the more loved ones and friends I have that move on. Dealing with this loss is tough, but as Coach Meyer did in life, he has done in death- motivated. I want to do more for the cause of Christ, I want to be a better husband, coach, believer, and live on purpose for His purpose. I want to get to the end and hear “well done my good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to go quietly and want to help change the world for the better and leave it a little better place. Thank you Coach for motivating me to be all I can be for His Glory. Enjoy Heaven my friend. We will meet again.

-Todd O’Neal


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Seldom in your life do you encounter a individual that makes an impact like Coach made on our family. What started out as a gesture caring for his lawn while he was laid up, to a small 4 year old son asking to go to his office to pray with him, turned into a six year friendship. Spectators watching him on the sidelines seen him as a gruff and ruff coach that appeared focused and tough on his players. Those of us that got to know him on a personal level (which at times during the season seemed an impossible barrier to break) seen him as a kind, caring, compassionate and lovable individual that would give the shirt off his back. We were fortunate and able to experience many things that will have lifelong impacts like this giant cuddling up with our son or daughter in his chair giving them head massages until they both fell asleep watching baseball, or watching him sit on the tailgate of my pickup in the driveway teaching our youngsters the proper technique of shooting and the correct stance for the triple threat, or experiencing him stopping by for every birthday or calling and singing to the kids if his travels took him out of town. We also got to experience this man larger than life coming to watch a 5 year old play little league basketball or our daughter playing basketball, when turnovers exceeded points. We also had the pleasure of Coach and Carmen just stopping by to say hello to see how we were doing or offer words of encouragement, but most importantly we got to experience the love he showed us in his final days, and the love to the Lord even when the pain was more than he cared to bare But through it all he never lost focus on the grand prize of eternal life and taught us life lessons right to the end that will stay with us a lifetime. We are forever blessed and thankful to have met such a great man and a great family. Praise be to God.

– Greg Wieker

To Coach

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I never met Coach, but in my first year at Northern he has sure inspired me. I would walk by his office every week and he’d be in there working away. I always knew he was great, but when I heard him speak at avera days I was blown away. This man was so firmly planted in his faith. He leaned on God with every ounce of his being. It was a great day in heaven when God could welcome Coach home.

Thank you, Coach, for inspiring me and showing God’s love to all that you have touched.

– Kayla Nuese

Keep Smiling

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I was walking in the Barnett Center one day and really was having a bad day. Coach stopped me and what he was doing to see what was up and why I was down. in that one little moment, he changed me. Always there to help a person out. Always there for advice. What a great man.

– Emily Johnson

He was an Amy Grant fan and a very spiritual person.

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I work at NSU and had to install Skype on his computer in his office a while ago. He had some CD’s laying on the area behind his desk. One that was in front was Amy Grant’s greatest hits. So I said to him, “You must be an Amy Grant fan”. He went on to tell me that he had met her and there was one song that he had heard at a game that he really liked. She must have made a big impression on him because he kept emphasizing how good of a person she was. He didn’t remember the title of the song, but I’m sure she knew if you asked her since he talked to her. In conclusion, I got the impression that he was a very spiritual person.

– Jerome Brandner

Don Meyer

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My prayers and thoughts are with the Meyer family upon the passing of Coach Meyer. He was a wonderful man and a terrific basketball coach who truly loved the game. His willingness to give to others of his time and knowledge was exemplary. One of the kindest things to be said about any person is “he was unique.” Don was certainly that and much more. His focus and dedication to his craft was unsurpassed. He and a number of other great coaches who matriculated through U. of Northern Colorado taught the game as well as any coaches have. I used to marvel at his desire to get down to the essence of the topic at hand. He wanted to determine, in an unerring manner, the best and most simple way the game could be taught and coached. At the core he was a teacher with the mindset of a scientist. He NEVER stopped thinking about how to do it better. He was also funny and self effacing. I thought his humbleness and kindness were hallmarks of his life as much as were the achievements. I never got to spend enough face time with Don but the phone came in handy to develop a feeling for him. Upon reading about Don’s passing this morning my first emotion was a great sense of loss, knowing that a very special person would no longer be walking among us.

– Ron Adams

Don Meyer has set a wonderful example of service. Honor his legacy and join in following his example. Consider a gift to one of the organizations at the link below.

Foundation info / Donate