Cedar Rapids Softball Coach Who Holds National Record for Wins Has Passed Away
When you see his name, the first thing that comes to mind is winning. Legendary coach Larry Niemeyer has passed away.
Niemeyer, who coached softball at Adel before leading the Cedar Rapids Jefferson program from 1978 through 2012 won an incredible 2,089 games and lost just 429, a winning percentage of 83 percent. The 2,089 softball victories is a national high school record that still stands today. Niemeyer coached the Jefferson J-Hawks to three state titles. His coaching career spanned 52 years, and it wasn't just softball.
I broadcast a number of Cedar Rapids Jefferson basketball games over the years, including the team's 1993 championship win over Solon. It was the only state title Niemeyer won in girls basketball at Jefferson, despite a career record of 871-352... the 3rd-highest win total in Iowa, according to the Gazette. One thing you knew going into every game involving a Larry Niemeyer-coached team, whether it was on the softball diamond or basketball court. They were always well prepared and fundamentally sound.
Larry Niemeyer also coached track and cross country but his indelible mark was from the basketball court and softball diamond where he combined to win 2,960 times. He lost only 781 games in both sports combined. The softball diamond at Cedar Rapids Jefferson bears his name.
The Gazette reports Niemeyer passed away Thursday night at the age of 84, following a lengthy illness. On his birthday last September, Niemeyer talked about his life and coaching career:
Larry Niemeyer meant more to Cedar Rapids than just wins and losses as Justin Blietz so eloquently put it on Friday morning: