By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
COVINGTON —- After seeing his coaching career come full circle, Jim Meyer knew it was time to end that journey after his three years as Covington girls basketball coach.
And he couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable ride.
“This was just a great bunch of girls to coach,” Meyer, whose coaching career began at Covington during the 1985-86 season, said. “They were just a great group of girls to be around.”
After going 55-32 in five seasons with Covington, then coaching Troy for five years, beginning in 1993, he had a record of 87-24.
After almost 20 years hiatus from coaching, he returned three years ago at Covington, when the program found itself without a coach shortly before the season was to begin.
He coached the team to three straight 20-win seasons, winning two sectional titles and district title and finishing with a career record of 202-72.
This year’s team tied the regular season win record with 18 — and the only reason it didn’t break it was Greenville not rescheduling a postponed game.
“I couldn’t have (asked any more),” Meyer said. “It is time for me to be a grandfather. It was the same reason I stopped coaching (in 1998). To be able to watch my kids play for Covington.”
His only losing season came in his first year at Covington, and in his final season in 1988-89, the Buccaneers won a school-record 22 games and won the girls basketball program’s first district title.
Lynnette Roeth, who went on to break the Covington school scoring record, was a freshman on the 1988-89 team.
While at Troy, he coached Rachel Brugger, who is in the top five in scoring for the Trojans, and guided the Trojans to a 20-2 record during the 1995-96 season. Two years later, he took a team that much wasn’t expected from all the way to the D-I district finals.
When he returned to Covington, current senior Samantha Whiteman was a sophomore.
Whiteman broke Roeth’s scoring record and finished with 1,893 points and was recently named the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year, as well as being the Southwest District Player of the Year.
“I have been fortunate,” Meyer said. “Those types of players are generational players. I was here for Lynnette’s first season and got to coach Sammi (Whiteman) for three seasons.”
And he doesn’t regret a moment of it.
“I was always blessed to be around really good kids who worked hard and were a lot of fun,” Meyer said.
And they were fortunate enough to have a coach who always made them the best they could be.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org