By Abbey Randall, Sports Editor
Dick Meader, a graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), has continued to find his place in the athletics community as head coach of the men’s basketball team for twenty-one years.
Coach Meader graduated from Farmington State College in 1968 with a degree in secondary education and has played four years of basketball wearing maroon and white. He taught at Nokomis for two years after graduating, while at the same time coaching the freshman team at the high school.
After receiving his masters in education with an emphasis in physical education from the University of Maine at Orono (UMO), Coach Meader became the head coach of men’s basketball at Thomas College. Meader stayed with the Terriers for seventeen years, finding a real passion for coaching college athletes. Coach Meader returned to UMF in 1993 as a head coach for the men’s basketball team. “Athletically it was me, this [UMF] is home to me,” said Coach Meader.
Coach Meader sees the importance in being a team and working together during the season. He sets goals for his athletes academically and athletically, but most importantly he wants his players to appreciate playing college basketball.
“Two goals I have for each kid when they come into the program is; I hope they meet their best friend on the team and I hope they enjoy their basketball experience as much as I did when I played here,” said Coach Meader.
Playing for a varsity coach who has been in the program for more than twenty years brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. “I just love learning and picking his brain everyday at practice,” said Sam Leal, senior guard.
During games Coach Meader is always encouraging the athletes to focus on each play and to keep the pressure on the other team. His demeanor can be intense at times, but all of the men’s basketball athletes have great respect for him as a coach. “You can never learn fully what a coach is like in one year, you need all four years to get to know your coach,” said Leal.
Coach Meader has been providing student athletes with what it takes to be successful in the game of basketball year after year, but more importantly he has given students skills needed to be successful outside of the basketball court. “Many of them have gone on to coaching and to follow their careers and to see them go out and coach is one of the great joys that I have,” said Coach Meader. “To me Farmington is where I belong.”