Meanwell became the fourth basketball coach in University of Wisconsin–Madison history in 1911. After earning a doctorate degree in 1915, he was nicknamed "Doc" or "Little Doc" (due to his 5'6" frame). During World War I he served in the US Army. After a two-year stint at University of Missouri, Meanwell was back at Wisconsin. The Badgers won or shared four Big Ten titles under his guidance (1921, 1923–24, 1929). Meanwell taught a style of game that featured short passing, crisscross dribbles and a tight zone defense. In 1934 he retired from coaching and practiced medicine in Madison, Wisconsin, until his death. He was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 1959.