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 held the record for most wins by a men’s basketball coach whose career included at least one spell 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.
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.
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.
Don Meyer died of cancer on May 18, 2014, aged 69, in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Head coaching record
Overall 923–324 (.740)
Accomplishments and honors
NAIA national men’s basketball championship (1986)
John Bunn Award (2010)