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Player, mentor: Former star player Clint Meyer steps down as Worthington High School boys basketball head coach

Clint Meyer, a former star player with the Worthington High School boys basketball team, has announced his retirement as the program's head coach.

042021 N DG Worthington Trojans head basketball coach Clint Meyer S4 .jpg
Worthington Trojans head basketball coach Clint Meyer 02 03 2020. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- Clint Meyer’s association with the Worthington Trojans varsity boys basketball program began way back. Way back when he was a ninth-grader.

“It was scary. Back then it wasn’t as common as maybe you see now, with kids getting moved up,” he recalls today. “I just remember being 6-6, a skinny freshman, looking up to those kids I was playing with.”

But if Meyer was anxious in his freshman season, the coach who saw something in him, Ron Vorwald, doesn’t remember it.

“What I remember about Clint is just his poise. If he was nervous, it just didn’t show. I thought he played with some veteran savvy,” Vorwald said, looking back.

Many years later, in April of 2021, Clint Meyer has announced his retirement from coaching after 14 seasons with the WHS boys basketball team -- seven as an assistant, and the last seven as the head coach.

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He was good enough as a high school freshman to lead his team in scoring and to help the Trojans to a state tournament in 1998, then a section championship game in 1999. He remains the No. 1 scorer in Worthington High School boys basketball history, with 1,784 points, and was first in rebounding, too, when he graduated.

Many years later as a head coach, Meyer compiled a 75-98 record and earned a reputation for teaching aggressive defense. Fans and players, alike, will remember him for his patience. He was never shy about pointing out deficiencies in his players, but he did his best to appreciate them as individuals.

Meyer was determined not to allow his retirement to become public until he announced it to his players. It is his relationship with his players, he said, that he will always cherish the most.

“We had our banquet with the kids last week, and I pretty much made my announcement to them at the banquet, he said. I didn’t think I’d get as emotional as I did. I thought I had enough time to prepare.”

Meyer was enjoying a family vacation in Disneyworld when he assessed his career with The Globe. One of the main reasons he stepped down as the head basketball coach, he said, was because his oldest son, Caleb, will be a seventh-grader next season and he wants to be more available for him in his own fledgling basketball career. Clint and his wife Katie have another son, Evan, who is a third-grader.

Clint played basketball for Southwest Minnesota State University for a couple of seasons before opting out to become a full-time student. Later, he and Katie lived in Delaware for three years as they both worked for Intervet, a Worthington-based company. Clint has continued to work at Merck since returning to his hometown.

He coached the Trojans’ ninth-grade team in his first year back in Worthington. After several years as a varsity assistant coach, he took over the varsity program for the 2014-15 season and stressed the same kind of aggressive, relentless defense that Vorwald used to coach.

“I tried to follow in Ron’s footsteps as much as I could, and tried to incorporate some of the things I wanted to do,” he said.

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Vorwald, who has maintained a connection with the WHS basketball program and has been a highly valued sounding board for his former prodigy, said Meyer did a great job with the teams he coached and “will be missed.”

“He loves basketball. That’s one thing I know of Clint, and I’ve always been impressed with his passion for the game of basketball. And I think he conveyed that to his players,” Vorwald said.

It is likely that Meyer will miss coaching, too.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long,” he summed up his 14 seasons.

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