NSU Admin

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

Don Meyer, Among Coaches With Most Wins, Dies

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Don Meyer, one of the winningest coaches in college basketball who came back from a near-fatal car accident and liver cancer before closing out his career, died Sunday in South Dakota. He was 69.

Meyer led his teams into the playoffs 19 times and compiled a 923-324 during his 38-year career, most of which he spent at Lipscomb in Tennessee and Northern State in South Dakota.

Read Article at ABC News

Pogue: Meyer will leave lasting impact on all

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Apparently one day soon, we’ll hear about the passing of a true legend.

It wasn’t so much that Don Meyer coached college basketball for 42 seasons, including 24 at Lipscomb University. And all those wins – 923 to be exact, sixth-most among men’s coaches – certainly earned enshrinement in multiple halls-of-fame.

Meyer, 69, was also a coach’s coach. His instructional videos set the standard among his peers, and those summer camps became the model for many a coach to follow.

Read Article at DNJ.com

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