Hall of Famer a centerpiece on Thayer sidelines


David Meek grew up in Marvell, Arkansas.

It was at recess one day, where he saw two boys throwing the football.

“We said, why don’t we go talk to coach and see if he’ll let us go down there at recess and fix us a little old team. So we did. We put three lineman the two backs. We had five on a team. That went on for two years and I thought right then, that’s what I want to do.”

He went to college and knew he wanted to begin a coaching career.

“I had a job at a place down in Arkansas for $1,700. Mrs. Pepmill, the superintendent called me and offered me $2,600 to come up here. I thought, boy, I’m gone to Thayer. Didn’t even know where it was.”

He coached the Bobcats from 1953 to the end of the 1957 season.

He would could back to Thayer in 1983, where he would coach for the next 16 years until retirement in 1999.

Retirement only lasted a year.

“When you don’t hunt, fish, golf or some of that stuff, it just eats at you.”

He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He got back into coaching in 2000 and spent 12 years back in southern Arkansas.

Current head coach, Billy Webber, asked Meek to came back to Thayer in 2012.

“He just loves football. He’s here everyday at practice…88-years-old. He’ll go here and watch the d-lineman, he’ll watch some of the stuff the running backs are doing, maybe the receivers.”

Giving input to coaches and helping young men learn to love the game he adores so much.

“Its intrigued me all of my life.”

“We’re just fortunate to have him to be such an inspiration to our coaches, to our players, for the commitment he’s had, not only here, but throughout his career.”

For 65 years, coach Meek has been roaming sidelines in both Arkansas and Missouri…but there’s one place he calls home.

“When I got here, I’ve been treated well and it’s just turned into my home and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”