The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

April 15, 2014

MSU's 22-game streak has coach Meyer ON THE VERGE

Longtime mentor is one win away from 1,000

When the Minnesota State softball team picks up its next victory, Lori Meyer will move into an exclusive club of head coaches who have 1,000 or more career victories.

Meyer, 54, can honestly say when she started her career back in 1985 this was not something she saw coming.

“But who does when you take your first coaching job?” she said. “You’re just trying to coach well enough that they ask you back for a second year.”

Meyer’s 30-plus year career at Minnesota State was one that nearly fizzled before it began. She had been a graduate assistant at then Mankato State in 1983 and 1984 and was looking for a head coaching job when St. Cloud State came calling. MSU coach Rosie Stallman had resigned, but Mankato had not yet posted the opening.

“Here I had interviewed and was a finalist for the St. Cloud job, and I had a decision to make,” Meyer said. “Do I gamble and hope they eventually open up the MSU job and give it to me, or do I follow through with the St. Cloud job?”

Meyer decided to roll the dice with MSU and today, more than three decades later, is in the midst of what is already an impressive career.

In more three decades at MSU, Meyer has coached 19 All-Americans and 77 all-conference players. During her tenure, MSU has won three North Central Conference titles and two Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championships.

Her teams have made 11 trips to the NCAA Division II national tournament and have made two appearances in the NCAA Championships. Along the way she was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“Looking back I think I was pretty fortunate,” Meyer said with a chuckle. “My very first year Georgene Brock, the women’s athletic director, was on sabbatical. She wasn’t around to see all the mistakes I was making.”

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