NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s basketball team got a lesson on life from former men’s coach Don Meyer on Tuesday afternoon.
As the coach at Lipscomb, Meyer won the 1986 NAIA National Championship and amassed a career mark of 665-179. His 1989-90 squad set a national record totaling 41 wins in a single season. At the end of his career Meyer had amassed a record of 923-324, the highest win total of any men’s coach in the NCAA.
Meyer was involved in a traffic accident that led to the amputation of his left leg and the discovery of inoperable cancer. Through it all, Meyer never missed a single game as the coach and was awarded the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2009 ESPY’s, hosted by ESPN.
Coach Meyer, who has many ties with the women’s team, talked about how to have the proper mindset both on and off the basketball court.
Women’s basketball head coach Greg Brown was a student assistant under Meyer, assistant coach John Wild played for Meyer while sophomore Alex Banks and freshman Chandler Cooper’s fathers played for Meyer. Assistant coach Anna Bower’s father Ricky also played for Coach Meyer.
As the talk was concluding Tuesday, Meyer focused on servant leadership. He used a quote from Rick Warren, where the first sentence of his book “The Purpose Driven Life” reads “It’s not all about you.”
Meyer followed that with “if you’re not serving, you’re not leading” discussing how a person’s example isn’t the main thing. Rather it is the only thing.
He then quoted Dr. Harold Salem, a pastor from Aberdeen, S.D., by saying “I’ve never met a person that was selfish and happy, but I have also never met an unselfish person that wasn’t happy.
The women’s basketball squad took that message Tuesday evening and put it to use by volunteering at the Bridge Ministry in downtown Nashville. The Bridge is a weekly outreach that takes place each Tuesday evening under the Jefferson Street Bridge.
“The first thing we did when we got there was set up for the evening,” sophomore guard Danay Fothergill said. “We set up the chairs for their sanctuary setting that they sit around. Then we got a chance to serve people. We got a plate of food and walked them to their seats.”
After everyone had received and eaten their food, Meyer spoke to the crowd. After the message was over, Fothergill had a moment she’ll never forget.
“I got a chance to pray with a few of the people,” Fothergill said. “They asked us to pray for something as simple as health. It puts into perspective about how good of health I have and how blessed I am to be where I am.”
The night was a chance for the Lady Bisons to prove that actions speak louder than words.
“It was saying ‘hey this is what you need to be doing,’” Fothergill said. “Don’t just preach it. Go out and do it. It was the little thing that we did that is going to mean a lot to those people.”
As the night concluded Fothergill admitted she had gained a new appreciation.
“The whole night we got a new perspective on life,” Fothergill said. “You learn to appreciate the little things.”