On the Sidelines: Michael Meek
When 14-year veteran coach Scott Rueck left George Fox to take over the women’s basketball program at his alma mater, Oregon State University, Director of Athletics Craig Taylor was faced with the monumental task of determining the best choice among a floodtide of applicants to lead the Bruins’ nationally recognized program.
When the decision was finally made to bring in Michael Meek, the coach at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore., he said, “We have hired arguably Oregon’s most successful current high school girls’ basketball coach. I can’t imagine a better fit for our university. We’re excited about his basketball credentials, but we’re also excited about the ways he will invest in the lives of our students off the court as well.”
Southridge captured state titles under Meek in the Oregon 4A classification in 2005 and 2006, and in the new 6A level in 2007, 2008 and 2010. The Skyhawks were regularly listed in the USA Today and MaxPreps national rankings, and this past spring were recognized by MaxPreps as one of the top 10 high school programs in the nation.
Meek earned several coaching awards at Southridge, including the 2006 MaxPrep National Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year honor. He was named the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year four times (’05, ’06, ’07, and ’10), and State Coach of the Year by The Oregonian newspaper twice (’05 and ’10). He was league Coach of the Year six times (’00, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’09, and ’10). Nineteen of his players went on to play college basketball.
At George Fox, Meek inherits a perennial NCAA Division III national power that has won or shared seven Northwest Conference crowns in the past 11 years, made seven NCAA Tournament appearances, reached the Sweet 16 five times, the Elite 8 three times, and won the national championship in 2008-09 with a perfect 32-0 record.
“The George Fox situation was just a perfect fit for me and my family,” he says. “What the institution believes in and stands for is what I believe in and stand for as well. I am confident that I can continue the winning tradition that has been established here, because my coaching philosophy is like Coach Rueck’s – it is not as much about wins and losses, about success, as it is about the journey, about relationships, about the process. If we have hard work, dedication and commitment, then the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
Meek will also teach and perform other roles in the Department of Health and Human Performance at George Fox.
A native of Puyallup, Wash., Meek played basketball at Tacoma Community College and Eastern Oregon University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health in 1999. He earned his master of arts in teaching from Grand Canyon University in 2004. He and his wife Lisa reside in Beaverton with their daughters McKelle and Audrey, and they attend Beaverton Foursquare Church.