When I was 25 years old, I seriously considered leaving my job as a research scientist to pursue college coaching. I wasn’t bold enough to do that, but I did leave to be a HS science teacher and now a head boys basketball coach at a small HS. I saw Don Meyer speak at 2 coaching clinics and those talks profoundly impacted my life. His wit, knowledge, and wisdom were truly remarkable. Besides John Wooden, coach Meyer set an example of love, passion and enthusiasm that all of us young coaches should model and admire.
At a 2011 clinic in Wisconsin Dells I saw coach Meyer speak. After burning through 11 pages of notes during his talk, I approached him after the talk. I was more nervous approaching him than approaching a girl! I told him I left my profession to coach, and I’ll never forget him looking me in the eye and saying “we are so lucky to have people like you in this profession. God Bless you. Find a small town where you can build a program, make it really meaningful, impact kids and if you make it to a state tournament the whole town will be proud of you.”
I heeded that advice. I now coach in a town of 12,000 people, and due to some amazing kids, we made it to the State Tournament in my first season. It was an experience I’ll never forget. But much like Coach Meyer would say, it’s not about the wins and losses, it is about the process. I love helping kids get better, helping teams improve and most of all cherishing the relationships that we get to form as coaches. Don Meyer will be missed. His impact will last forever. He was a servant-leader, a Christian, and set an example that was truly one of a kind.
– Sean Keating