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.
I have countless memories of the thousands of hours invested in Coach Meyer’s teaching tapes and clinic notes. The personalized, hand-written letters from Coach Meyer, when I would receive one of his tapes in the mail to help improve myself as a coach and the note attached with it. What a selfless, caring, loving, and humble person Coach Meyer is, and this was the kind of legacy that he led, that to me personally, meant so much more than all the many games and championships won. It was his EXAMPLE, that he led EVERY SINGLE DAY. Coach Meyer did not just Talk the Talk, He Walked the Walk with tremendous authenticity, sincerity, and genuineness, which is very rarely seen at any level of college basketball coaching today. With Coach Meyer, One never had to second-guess themselves of any kind of ulterior motive that he had when he was dealing with people. That was NEVER a part of his persona and makeup. Instead, Coach Meyer brought a breath of fresh air to the profession that transcended basketball and any winning of games or individual/team awards. Coach would always say to us, “You can tell a lot about a person about how he/she treats others that cannot do anything to or for him/her.” Coach Meyer backed this up daily, with his servant leadership, attitude of gratitude, and humility in dealing with people from all walks of life.
I can say today, that if it had not been for Coach Meyer, I would not be where I am at today as a Man, Coach, and Servant Leader. Thank you Coach for everything you have done for me and so many others, for leaving this world a better place than you had found it. You are truly a remarkable human being, a visionary, and leader by example. I love and miss you dearly! May You Rest in Peace in Eternal Life With Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
God Bless You,
Josh Hawton, Eagan, MN