Photo by Matt Stensland
Former Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball coach Kelly Meek attends practice Tuesday and visits with former player Matt Aljanich, a 1984 graduate. On March 28, Meek will be inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
- Saturday, March 28, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
/ $32 - $42
Steamboat Springs Kelly Meek said when he arrived in Steamboat Springs more than 30 years ago, he was just trying to survive.
But in 1972, Meek and his wife, Karen, found a town where they could raise children and a school district that cared about sports.
Now, after a career that netted 544 wins and 44 league titles as a basketball coach and state track titles in 1975, 1979, 1980 and 1981, Meek will be receiving one of the highest honors a prep coach can receive.
On March 28, Meek will be inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Aurora.
"That's the thing. I was busy trying to raise a family. Then the years just flew by," Meek said. "All of a sudden, I went from being 24 years old to turning 62. It just flew by and happened."
Meek leaves a reputation of not just molding great teams and players, but also caring about people in his program. He retired last year as the second-winningest coach at one school in Colorado history.
Meek said that when he looks back on all his years in Steamboat, it's not the wins and losses that jump out.
Instead, it's all the people he came in contact with.
"It's the officials. Coming up, we've gotten to know so many people," Meek said. "I really appreciate those not just closely associated with our program, but the ones that were around it. The officials, the scorekeepers, the cheerleaders. Just everybody."
Meek said he never expected or set out to make the CHSCA Hall of Fame. He said he was just trying be part of the school district and community.
"Few coaches get selected in the first year they are nominated," said Tom Southall, a member of the Hall of Fame, part of the Hall of Fame committee and 1981 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School. "Kelly was selected his first year. His reputation around the state is definitely held in high regard. The part I stressed to a lot of the coaches was as good of a basketball coach as he was, he was an even better track coach. Back in the '70s and early '80s, Steamboat was the best track team in the state regardless of classification."
Meek is an assistant coach for the Western State College men's basketball team in Gunnison. Although he said he enjoys coaching for his son-in-law, Mike Moskowitz, there is certainly a portion of him that misses Steamboat.
"I love what I'm doing with my son-in-law and being his assistant," Meek said Tuesday, while running an open gym session at the Steamboat Springs High School. "But I tremendously miss this right here."