Jen Meyer steps down as head coach of Lady Tigers
By JON KLEINKNECHT
Inquirer Sports Editor
After guiding the Galion High School girls’ varsity basketball team to the most victories in back-to-back seasons in two decades, Jen Meyer is stepping down as head coach.
“I told the girls about two weeks ago when we turned in our equipment,” Meyer — who served as varsity head coach for just two seasons — stated. “I didn’t want to tell them last night (Sunday) at the banquet because that is about THEM and THEIR accomplishments … not about me.”
Meyer lives an hour away in Monroeville where she is the Dean of Students for the school district of grades 7–12, as well as the coordinator of special education. She accepted those positions last spring after having taught in the Galion City Schools. Newly married, the 1996 Bellevue High School graduate posted an overall record of 14–29 as head coach of the Lady Tigers, including an 8–14 mark in the recently completed campaign. Those eight victories are the most by a varsity team in the program in 20 years. She served as junior varsity coach for one season prior to being named head coach in the spring of 2011.
“Being the varsity coach in Galion was an honor,” Meyer said. “In my three years, I have enjoyed every minute spent on the floor with my teams and every minute driving back and forth from Monroeville. I knew these girls had potential and that made the late nights and long drives worth every second. I am so proud of all of them and so happy to have coached them. I am going to miss all of them so much. They are a great group of girls and work hard every day. They learned the true meaning of team and that shined brightly this season.”
The seventh head coach of the Orange-and-Blue in 12 seasons, Meyer took over a program in which losses by 30 or more points were common place for an era spanning 20 winters. That was not the case this season. Of the 14 defeats, six were by 10 points or less and none were by 30-plus.
There were some big wins, too. On February 2nd, the Orange-and-Blue scored a school record 88 points in a Saturday afternoon dismantling of Lucas in Richland County. It was a record-setting performance in more ways than one. Senior Peyton Beachy erupted for 40 points, including 10 3-pointers — both program marks. As a team, the locals made 15 treys against the Lady Cubs. Beachy’s 10 and Galion’s 15 3-pointers rank fourth in the Ohio High School Athletic Association record book.
The Lady Tigers also smashed Cardington 78–42 in late December after thumping Mount Gilead 64–22 nine days earlier.
Meyer fondly recalls those games and mentioned the beginning of what she hopes become permanent fixtures in the program.
“We set forth many new traditions that I hope continue for years to come. Senior Dinner, having (grades) 7–12 players at our banquet, Adrian Team Camp, dodgeball practices, team dinners, team outings to scout or watch former players, Littles/Bigs, touching the team quote before every game, huddles at the end of practice, always ending with the word “TEAM” no matter what. It has been a great ride … and I was so glad to be part of it,” she stated.
She concluded with, “For the next coach … I hope they realize that they are sitting on a gold mine of talent that can only go up from here, and I can only hope they continue the traditions we have set and continue to make more as the years go on. Thank you, Lady Tigers. You will forever be in my heart.”