GOSHEN — Melanie Meyer used to hate the color red. Now, it’s a color she hopes to wear for a long time.
Meyer was approved as the new Goshen High School head volleyball coach at Monday night’s Goshen school board meeting.
“It’s exciting,” Meyer said. “Hearing ‘Goshen High School’ is not something that I ever thought would be in my future, being a Concord grad. Wearing red was hard the first time … in high school, everything was green and we played everyone that was red, and I hated red.”
Meyer is the fourth new head coach in four seasons for the RedHawks. She replaces Doug West, who coached Goshen to a 14-12 record in 2019. West stepped down in October. A three-person committee was put together to hire Meyer.
Prior to West, Mike Howard was the coach in 2018 and Jude Barger in 2017.
“It’s really unfortunate for our girls in the program now that they’ve had so many different coaches,” Goshen athletic director Larry Kissinger said. “They’ve done very well despite that, but I’m just wondering if one of those guys had stayed long-term and been the coach, how successful we might’ve been.”
Meyer anticipates this not being a one-and-done situation like the past three years with the Goshen program.
“I plan on staying for a long time,” Meyer said. “I mean, I just bought a house in Goshen, so I’m not going anywhere any time soon.”
Kissinger said the way Meyer was able to organize the offseason workouts in the wake of West’s resigning was what helped her get the job.
“She didn’t have a stake in getting kids to play club volleyball this year, and so she organized that very last minute because of when coach West notified us that he was not coming back next year,” Kissinger said. “We really appreciated that, and she showed me her organizational skills.”
Kissinger also said that although Meyer, 27, is young, her age was not a factor in the decision-making process.
“The age was not the deciding factor,” Kissinger said. “She’s a very solid teacher; that helps. She’s made a commitment to the Goshen community by living here; that certainly helped her cause.”
Meyer was hired as a physical education teacher at GHS right before the 2019-20 school year started. She also teaches health and an alternative learning class.
Meyer is a 2011 graduate of Concord High School. She played volleyball, basketball and softball while wearing the green and white of the Minutemen.
From there, she attended Goshen College and played for both the volleyball and softball teams. She set the freshman single-season record for most steals in a season with 41. She played middle hitter on the Maple Leaf volleyball team, recording 1,197 kills and 428 digs in her four-year career.
Meyer will get her first chance to coach against her alma mater, Concord, sometime in the fall. She knows that’s going to be an emotional night for her.
“It’s going to be bittersweet,” Meyer said. “(Concord coach) Kelly Chupp and I have known each other since before I was in high school. We’ve had vacations together; our moms are friends. She coached me at Goshen College, so she’s been a friend, a coach, a mentor to me. So, it’ll be bittersweet because I’ll be excited to see her, but hopefully I’ll take home the win.”
This will be Meyer’s first head coaching gig. She’s been an assistant and co-coach at Northern Indiana Volleyball Association (NIVA) for three years. She’s also been an assistant at Fairfield and South Bend Career Academy. She has coaching responsibilities at NIVA until the end of March before being able to focus on her new role at Goshen.
The RedHawks have not won a volleyball sectional since 1990, something Meyer hopes to change.
“I’m excited to start my own program and to kind of build-up from where the program is right now,” Meyer said. “Kind of take it down from the elementary levels and really build it into something big.”