Former Hamline coach Don Meyer has passed away - KMSP-TV

Former Hamline coach Don Meyer has passed away

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ABERDEEN, S.D. (KMSP) - One of the winningest coaches in college basketball happened to coach at Minnesota’s own Hamline University, and Don Meyer will leave behind a rich coaching legacy as well as an incredible story of survival.

Meyer passed away at 69 of cancer on Sunday at his home in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

He survived a near-fatal car accident in 2008 and battled liver cancer before he stopped coaching, but left memories as assistant coach at Western State and Utah and as head coach at Hamline, Lipscomb and Northern State. He passed Bobby Knight as the NCAA’s winningest coach in men’s basketball history in 2009, and ultimately compiled a 923-324 record during his 38-year career. He retired following the 2010 season from Northern State.

His first head coaching gig was at Hamline from 1972 to 1975 and compiled a 37-41 record. His first Hamline squad went 5-20, but the Pipers went on to win 16 games each of the next two seasons. In Meyer's third and final season, Hamline advanced to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals. 

Meyer left Hamline to coach at Lipscomb in 1975, where the Bisons made 13 appearances in the NAIA tournament during his 24 years there, winning the 1986 title.

In 12 years at Northern State, the Wolves finished in the top three of the Northern Sun Conference seven times, finishing in first place twice. 

He now ranks sixth on the all-time winning record list.

Meyer was also named recipient of the Jimmy V award for Perseverance at the 2009 ESPY Awards.

Memorial services will be held at Lipscomb University and Northern State University, according to a statement from Lipscomb University. He is survived by his wife and three children.


"We are very saddened to hear of the loss of Coach Meyer. His remarkable leadership and contributions to the game of men's basketball have left an indelible mark on the game," Hamline athletic director Jason Verdugo said. "Hamline is proud to have been a small of his winning legacy and deeply honored to include his name as part of our long history of Piper athletics."

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