Gehlen Catholic Volleyball Coach Mike Meyer Wins Iowa Coach of the Year Honor | Volley-ball

LE MARS, Iowa — If you’ve done anything over four decades, there’s going to be a lot of memories being made along the way.

Gehlen Catholic High School volleyball coach Mike Meyer certainly has a few, and this week he deserved another memorable moment.

The longtime Jays coach was named Iowa Volleyball Coach of the Year presented by the NFHS Coaches Association.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association nominated Meyer for the award.

“For me it’s always nice to be recognized and I just think it confirms what we’ve been able to do here at Gehlen,” Meyer said. “It’s the type of price that looks at the value of production over a period of time.”

According to Meyer, part of the reason the National High School Federation awarded Meyer the honor was because he racked up 1,000 wins during his coaching career in high school and college.

The milestone profit came in mid-September. He has more than 400 victories with the Jays when he began coaching at Le Mars Catholic school in 2006.

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After it happened, the Jays players celebrated by giving Meyer gifts and four gold balloons that spelled out the “1,000.”

One of those seniors who played for Meyer all four years was Alyssa Kolbeck. Kolbeck was proud to have played for a coach like Meyer.

“He’s always been special to us,” Kolbeck said. “Now everyone sees how great a coach he is. He is always there and contacts us. He will not disappoint us. We know we always have someone to push us.”

The milestone made Meyer reminisce about the number of players he has coached over the years, and not just at Gehlen.

Meyer began his coaching career at Remsen St. Mary’s, then coached at Westmar College and Northwestern College.

Meyer believed he was involved in 10 state tournaments before turning 30. He was also an assistant softball coach at RSM.

“It’s nostalgic how lucky I was to have so many great players who were also great people,” said Meyer. “I almost pinched myself. In some ways, the 1,000 tops the list because it’s a culminating deal.

“Looks like a lot of nice things happened to us,” Meyer said. “You want to count your blessings. None of these things happen unless you have good players who are just as eager to win as you are. Without good players none of this will happen.”

Meyer said he also enjoyed the former players reaching out to him after he won his 1,000th. He liked hearing stories that stood out and had flashbacks that he hadn’t had in a while.

“I have several people who have played before me, especially those at Northwestern who are now coaches,” said Meyer.

The season had more memories than just the 1,000th win.

The Jays have won 25 games this season and have been ranked #2 in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union for most of the season.

Meyer said that while the wins were unforgettable, he will never forget the night the lights went out at Bishop Heelan’s gym.

The Jays were playing in a Class 1A regional final against Akron-Westfield when a power outage in downtown Sioux City forced the lights in the building to go out.

There was a delay that lasted over an hour, and that hour of bonding was something Meyer won’t soon forget.

“That’s the first and hopefully only time I’ll have that experience,” Meyer said with a laugh.

Gehlen defeated the Westerners that night, but lost in the North Tama state quarterfinals a few days later.

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