December 16, 1944|
|Died||May 18, 2014
Aberdeen, South Dakota
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1968–1970||Western State (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|John Bunn Award (2010)|
Donald Wayne Meyer (December 16, 1944 – May 18, 2014) was an American college basketball coach who completed his career in 2010 as head coach of the men's team at Northern State University. He was once head coach at Hamline University and Lipscomb University. Meyer was born in 1944 in Wayne, Nebraska.
College basketball coaching career
Meyer held the record for most wins by a men's basketball coach whose career included at least one stint with an NCAA member school, until it was surpassed by Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski in November 2011. His career win total includes stints as a NAIA coach.
He is the subject of the book, Playing for Coach Meyer written by Steve Smiley, who played for Meyer as a point guard (1999–2004), and who served as an assistant coach from 2006 to 2008. Meyer is also the subject of a more extensive biography, How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer, written by ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney, who has had a close relationship with Meyer since Olney was assigned to cover baseball in Nashville while Meyer was coaching at Lipscomb.
Pat Summitt cites Meyer as a major influence on her development as a coach, noting in a 2009 interview:
He taught me how to teach others how to play the game. When I started coaching at Tennessee, I was 22 years old. I had four players 21 that were seniors. And I never coached a day in my life. So did Coach Meyer help me? Tremendously.
He had 3 major rules:
1. Everybody takes notes.
2. Everybody says "please" and "thank you".
3. Everybody picks up trash.
Accident and cancer
Don Meyer had cancer discovered in his liver and intestines (bowels) during emergency surgery after a car crash on September 5, 2008. His lower left leg had to be amputated below the knee due to injuries from the car crash. During the surgery they found cancer and later operated on it.
At the ESPY Awards 2009, Meyer was awarded the Jimmy V (Jim Valvano) Award For Perseverance.
In February 2011, Coach Meyer was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame not only for his basketball coaching skills and records but was also recognized as an outstanding collegiate basketball and baseball athlete and administrator.
In 2012, Meyer was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
Retirement and death
On February 22, 2010, Northern State announced that Meyer would be retiring at the end of the 2009–10 season after 38 years of coaching. Later that year, on June 30, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Meyer was that year's recipient of the John Bunn Award, given by the Hall for significant contributions to the sport.
Casey Bond, a Lipscomb alum, is producing the independent film about Meyer under the working title My Many Sons, along with producing partner Brad Wilson. The film is being produced on a budget of between $2 and $5 million under Bond and Wilson's production company, Higher Purpose Entertainment. The filming took place in Nashville, Tennessee and Aberdeen, South Dakota and the projects is currently in post production.
Head coaching record
|Hamline Pipers (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1972–1975)|
|1974–75||Hamline||16–11||NCAA D–III Quarterfinals|
|Lipscomb Bisons (Volunteer State Athletic Conference) (1975–1985)|
|1981–82||Lipscomb||33–4||NAIA First Round|
|1984–85||Lipscomb||25–9||NAIA Second Round|
|Lipscomb Bisons (Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1985–1996)|
|1987–88||Lipscomb||33–3||NAIA Second Round|
|1991–92||Lipscomb||31–5||NAIA Second Round|
|1993–94||Lipscomb||29–6||NAIA First Round|
|1994–95||Lipscomb||30–7||NAIA Second Round|
|Lipscomb Bisons (TranSouth Athletic Conference) (1996–1999)|
|1996–97||Lipscomb||30–6||NAIA First Round|
|1998–99||Lipscomb||25–9||NAIA First Round|
|Northern State Wolves (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) (1999–2010)|
|2003–04||Northern State||24–7||13–3||2nd||NCAA D–II First Round|
|2004–05||Northern State||21–10||9–5||3rd||NCAA D–II First Round|
|2005–06||Northern State||27–6||11–3||2nd||NCAA D–II Regional Final|
|2007–08||Northern State||29–4||16–2||2nd||NCAA D–II Regional Final|
|2008–09||Northern State||19–11||8–5||7th||NCAA D–II First Round|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- "2008-2009 Men's Basketball Coaching Staff". NSUWolvesAthletics.com. Northern State University. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Meyer, NCAA's leading active men's coach in wins, has treatable cancer - Men's College Basketball - ESPN
- Olney, Buster (2010-02-22). "Don Meyer set to retire at end of year". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- Olney, Buster (2008-11-18). "Twelve wins away: Don Meyer's hard road back from the brink". ESPN The Magazine. ESPN.com. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Northern State coach has leg amputated as part of cancer treatment - Men's College Basketball - ESPN
- "Legendary Coach Don Meyer To Receive Hall of Fame's 2010 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- Mike Organ (March 4, 2013). "Don Meyer movie gaining support – Aberdeen American News". Articles.aberdeennews.com. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Organ, Mike (March 3, 2013). "Midstate chatter: Pat Summitt gives thumbs up to Don Meyer movie". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
- Olney, Buster (May 18, 2014). "Don Meyer dies at age of 69". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.