CEDAR RAPIDS — For a day, Larry Niemeyer felt young again.
The nation’s all-time leader in softball victories, Niemeyer has been selected as the 2009 National High School Coaches Association national coach of the year.
“It’s got to be one of the bigger (awards I’ve won),” said Niemeyer, who has coached Adel and Cedar Rapids Jefferson to 1,972 victories (heading into Tuesday’s double-header at Cedar Rapids Prairie). “You read some of the bios of the winners … some of those guys are 80 years old.
“Maybe I’m just a pup.”
Niemeyer, 71, was the national softball coach of the year by the National High School Athletic Association in 1989 and the national girls’ basketball coach of the year by that organization in 1996. He is a member of the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“This makes me feel like I’m in pretty select company,” he said.
Niemeyer began coaching in 1960 at Adel, then moved to Cedar Rapids in 1978. He has taken 27 teams to state, winning titles in 1983, 1997 and 1998. He won a state basketball title at Jefferson in 1993 and led Adel teams to titles in indoor track and cross country.