By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
Wanting to be just like his dad, David Meter went into education. And
just like his dad, David put together a successful career. Meter’s long stint
as the Great Bend High School Activities Director will come to a close next summer
following his announcement to retire after the 2021-2022 school year.
Meter grew up in Gering, Nebraska where the latest census recorded a population
just over 8,000. In the central part of the Nebraska panhandle and 20
miles away from the Wyoming border, travel was expected for sporting events.
“We had to travel quite a bit like we do here at Great Bend High School,” said
Meter. “Two hour trips were pretty common. Out in the panhandle, there were not
many big towns around.”
While growing up in Gering, Meter’s dad served as the principal at the high
school. There was some pressure for Meter to be a “good boy” with his dad being
the principal, but he was always supported.
“I always wanted to be just like my dad,” said Meter. “I always looked up to
him. He was a coach, administrator and a driver’s education instructor. He
taught me right from wrong.”
Following in his dad’s footsteps, Meter wanted to get into education. Meter was
a talented three-sport athlete in high school and following graduation he was
recruited by several Division I universities.
“My favorite sport was baseball,” said Meter. “I ended up committing to the
University of Wyoming on a baseball scholarship. The summer after my senior
year, the baseball coach at Wyoming was fired. I was scrambling for a new place
There were five athletes from Gering that went to Fort Hays State University.
Meter joined the group going to Hays, KS after obtaining a football scholarship
to play for the Tigers.
“I had my mind set on playing college baseball, but it did not take me long to
adjust to football,” said Meter. “I enjoyed all sports. Going to college and
spending my life in athletics, it is amazing that I’ll be ending my career in
Getting his professional career started in athletics nearly took a detour following
college. With a degree in education and teaching, Meter was not sure what he
wanted to do after graduation.
“I ended up taking a civil service exam to be a postman,” said Meter. “I got
like a 98% on this exam and I was offered a job back in my hometown to be a
postman as I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do.”
Prior to starting his job as a postman in Gering, Meter received a phone call
from the Great Bend High School athletic director the August after his college
graduation. There was a position open in Great Bend at Roosevelt Junior High to
teach physical education and they needed a head cross country coach.
“This all happened in the middle of August,” said Meter. “The season started a
week after my interview. I drove 450 miles to Great Bend for the interview. I
was offered a job, went home and packed my bags, and the next day I drove back
to Great Bend.”
Starting his career in Great Bend, Meter never got the chance to start his work
with the U.S. Postal Service.
“Every time I see these postmen, I wonder what would have happened if I did
that,” said Meter. “But I think it was a God thing. It’s unusual that there is
a physical education job open that late. Normally, those jobs are filled pretty
Meter would teach physical education throughout the 1980s and spent 11 years as
the principal at Park Elementary School in Great Bend. He started as the
Activities Director at the high school in the 2000-2001 school year.
“I had other opportunities with USD 428 to get into the athletic director job,
but it just was not the right timing,” said Meter. “This job takes a lot of
time and I had a young son and he was at that age where I was coaching his
sports and following him.”
The AD job at Great Bend High School opened up again when Meter’s son was a freshman.
The timing was perfect to allow Meter to still follow his son’s career and pay
attention to him just like David’s dad did growing up in Gering.
“The timing was great to follow my son,” said Meter. “I have fond memories of
my first few years at Great Bend High School.”
Serving as the AD for the past 21 years, Meter acknowledged one of the biggest
changes over the time is the technology. Putting sports schedules together for
various teams became a lot easier.
“We did things through telephone,” said Meter. “You made a lot of phone
contacts and you know how that is because sometimes athletic directors are in
the office and sometimes they’re not. Putting together a schedule took a lot
more work than it does now.”
When Meter first started as the Activities Director in 2000, one of his main
visions was to bring success to the football program at the high school. To
accomplish this goal, Meter worked to build up the weight room and also to
bring in a successful coach.
“Back then I was allowed to travel by plane,” said Meter. “We went to Albuquerque,
New Mexico and Lancaster, Texas to do home visits on coaches we were interested
in bringing home to Great Bend.”
Meter was part of the hiring of Bo Black in 2001 to take over the football
program after spending five years as an assistant at Lancaster High School.
“Coach Black was 26 years old at the time and was the offensive coordinator for
his dad, Doug,” said Meter. “We went to the weight room and I never saw people
work so hard and have so much fun than that time down in Lancaster. I said we
need to get that excitement in Great Bend.”
Many schools the size of Great Bend have more than one athletic director, so
Meter has always considered his responsibilities as a two-person job. Lana
Wolf, Activities Secretary, has been Meter’s “Assistant AD” throughout his time
“I learned early on to let her do her job,” said Meter. “She enjoys the
multitasking. It’s been good. I’ll miss working with her.”
Meter has served in many roles over the years including President of the
Western Athletic Conference, KSHSAA Board of Directors and member of the Kansas
Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (KIAAA) Board of Directors.
Meter was named the 2020 KIAAA Athletic Director of the Year.
Meter’s retirement was made public at the USD 428 Board of Education meeting
June 14. He will serve as AD one more year and retire at the
conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year.
“The year gives me an exit strategy,” said Meter. “It gives our district
administration time to find a replacement. I want this thing to continue to grow and
make sure they bring in the right person.”
Meter contemplated retiring last year, but did not want to finish the job
heading into all the COVID-19 complications.
“I just want to finish on a normal year and hopefully we’ll get into that next
year,” added Meter.
Meter referred to his wife, Cindy, as his biggest supporter and cheerleader. He
anticipated spending more time with her, the person that sacrificed a lot to
allow him to do the job he loves.
“We love to go to concerts and ballgames,” said Meter. “I’ve been blessed to be
an encourager over the years and I will continue to do that no matter where I’m
For more than 40 years, Meter has been able to work in education…just like his
“He set a pretty good example for me,” said Meter. “He was a big part of it.”
Listen below to the entire interview with Eagle Radio’s Cole Reif and Meter.
Read More: 🎧Retirement on the horizon, Great Bend AD follows in his dad’s footsteps