Our Stories with Coach

Coach Meyer has impacted the lives of many. Share your favorite Coach story or quote using the form below.

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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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 

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    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.

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