Gary Meurer graduated from Nicollet High School in 1966 and from Mankato State University in 1970. While in high school, he was on the track and wrestling team and in college he was on the MSU wrestling, track and cross country teams.
In 1970, Gary started his teaching and coaching career at Waseca. He taught 8th grade math and coached Jr. High wrestling and track in his first year. In 1971, Gary started coaching at the high school level. In track, he has been the assistant coach for 27 years. In those years, he helped coach 15 runners to the state track tournament.
Gary was very successful as the head wrestling coach from 1983-2005. Meurer’s Bluejay wrestling team won the South Central Conference championship nine times. His individual wrestlers won numerous conference, district, region, sub-section and section championships. Gary coached 18 individual wrestlers to the Minnesota State Wrestling tournament as entrants, medallists and two state champions; Mike Folie and Ben Janike. Gary also got the thrill coaches dream of, coaching his son Luke, one of the medallists at the state tourney.
Gary’s most outstanding accomplishments and records are as the head cross country coach for the Bluejays. He has been the head coach for approximately 21 years, has had multiple state entrants, coached four boys South Central Championship teams and six girls SCC Championship teams. Both the boys and girls cross country teams were state entrants in 2009 and 2010. 2009 was an unbelievable year, ranked No. 6 in the state; the boys were SCC Champions, Section 2A Champions and took 5th place at the State Cross Country tournament. The girls, ranked No. 2 in the state, were SCC Champions, Section 2A Champions and brought home the State Championship. Three of Meurer’s runners, Allison Streich, Morgan Larson and Sally O’Brien, earned All-State Honors. In 2010, another great year, the girls placed 6th at state and the boys 4th. Gary was honored for his excellence in coaching by being selected Section 2A and State Class A Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2009 and again in 2010 for Section 2A and State Class A Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Running has always been a big part of Gary’s life. He has run several marathons and in 1977, he ran the Mecca of every dedicated distance runner, the Boston Marathon. Among the 24,000 participants, his goal was to run the 26 mile 385 yard course in under 3 hours. His time was 2:57:14.
While Gary has been able to motivate athletes to dedicate themselves to the goal of becoming a champion, more importantly he has taught them how to be good people and how to expect the best for themselves and others. Gary Meurer has always truly cared for kids whether in the classroom, or on the track, the course, or the mat. While coaching kids to be individual champions, Gary has also taught them the importance of teamwork in achieving both individual and team goals.
Gary retired from teaching 8th grade math at the Waseca Jr. High School after 41 years. He is still the assistant track coach and the boys and girls cross country head coach. To no one’s surprise, his cross country teams are rated in the top ten again this year.
Gary and his wife Ginger live on their hobby farm outside of Waseca and have raised 3 children, Josey, Luke and Kali.