Herman August “Buddy” Meyer, Jr. was called to our Heavenly Father on February 4th, 2022. Buddy was born January 7th, 1940, in Davis, West Virginia, to Herman A. “Jim” Meyer, Sr. and Mary Francis (Eubank). The fourth of six children, Buddy was preceded in death by his brother Johnny and sisters, Barbara and Nancy. He is survived by his sister Susan Meyer, brother Fred Meyer, and niece Morgan Meyer, and Barbara’s son, Andrew Heisley.
A standout basketball player at Mountaineer High School, Buddy dreamed of playing in college. Life provided a detour when his dream school did not offer a scholarship, and he joined the Air Force at the age of seventeen. Buddy was very proud of his Air Force service, and remembered Morse code from his days monitoring Russian radio transmissions in Turkey and Scotland. He played basketball for the Air Force at the Inter-Service World Championships, and while his team did not win that tournament, his home town could cheer him on while listening to the games on the radio. His standout play while at Lackland AFB in San Antonio caught the eye of St. Mary’s Coach, Mel Barborak, who offered him a scholarship to play at St. Mary’s University.
Once Buddy donned the Gold and Blue, he set many school records that stand to this day. He was an All-Conference selection all four years, and led St. Mary’s to their first appearance in the NAIA National Championship where the team knocked out the number one tournament seed, and advanced several rounds before losing to the eventual champion. During his time at St. Mary’s he met his beloved future wife, Anna Marie Hibberd. Buddy and Anna were blessed with 56 years of marriage, during which they created a large and close-knit family. Buddy is survived by Anna; his daughters, Suzanne Meyer, Mary Beth Harr, MD, and her husband Brian, Jennifer Bankler, DDS and her husband Scott, and son Herman A. “Bubba” Meyer III and his wife Vanessa. All of his children and their spouses are also proud alumni of St. Mary’s. Ten much adored grandchildren also survive Buddy: Cal and his wife Ellie Harr, Carly and Mia Harr, Benjamin and William Bankler, and Grayson, Dillon, Chase, Harper, and Quinn Meyer. Buddy beamed with joy and pride whenever his grandchildren were anywhere near him and wore down his blue recliner reading stories to them, reviewing flash cards, and having tea parties. He was also happy to instruct them on their shooting form on the hoop from the original Alumni gym that hung on his back porch.
After graduating from St. Mary’s, Buddy’s first coaching job was at Antonian High School, where his team won the TCIL State Basketball Championship in 1968. He remained in close contact with those young men throughout his life. Buddy was then offered the assistant basketball coaching position at St. Mary’s under the man who coached him, Ed Messbarger, and in 1978 was offered the head coaching job. Buddy coached at St. Mary’s until his retirement in 2005. His teams were highly successful on the court, winning numerous conference titles, and the NAIA National Championship in 1989 when Buddy was also named NAIA National Coach of the year. He was honored as a St. Mary’s Distinguished Alumnus, and his coaching skills earned him induction into the St. Mary’s University Athletics Hall of Fame, Antonian Athletics Hall of Fame, Heartland Conference Hall of Fame, San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame, NAIA Hall of Fame and a spot on the NAIA 75th Anniversary All Star Team as a Coach. Buddy appreciated the loyal support of many friends and extended family, who cheered from the stands over numerous years. This includes his extended Hibberd family; Dr. Alan and Tracy Hibberd, Terri Curtis, Joni and Rod Romero, and many nieces and nephews.
Although the on-court accolades are plentiful, Buddy was most proud of his athletes completing their college education. More than 80% of his players graduated from college and led successful careers when their playing days were finished. Those graduates went on to become successful lawyers, doctors, coaches, educators, and businessmen. Many continued close contact with Buddy throughout his life, some even considered him like a second father, and reached out to celebrate him on both his birthday and Father’s day every year. Buddy’s reach extended beyond his basketball players to the entire St. Mary’s community. Especially dear to him were the Marianist priests and brothers, who supported him and instilled in him the values that he carried throughout his life. He had the gift of making each person feel important, because to him they were.
Once he retired, Buddy continued his support of St. Mary’s basketball, where he was able to harass referees without fear of a technical foul. Buddy and Anna would follow the team on trips and enjoy visiting with Alumni and old friends along the way. Buddy touched many lives both on and off the campus at St. Mary’s and he built many true, and lasting friendships. Devout in his Catholic faith, Buddy and Anna were members of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church for more than forty years. That faith served him well during two arduous battles with cancer and other health issues that plagued his later years. Despite how he felt, he never missed a day of work or weekly Mass. The family wishes to thank the physicians who cared for Buddy, especially his long-time friend and former team physician, Dr. Jesse DeLee. Under the care of him and Dr. Steven Kalter, Dr. Fernando Triana, Dr. Carlos Roman, and Dr. Victor “Butch” Vela (a beloved former player), the family enjoyed an extra twenty years with him. The family is also grateful to the doctors and nurses at Methodist Hospital for the compassionate care, and kindness they provided during Buddy’s last days.
A rosary will be recited in Buddy’s honor at 730 p.m. on February 13th, with a funeral Mass following on February 14th at 1000. Both services will be held at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. A private family burial with military honors will be held at Ft. Sam Houston at a later date. Funeral arrangements are provided by Harris Funeral Home, www.harrisfamilymortuary.com. The Family would like to thank George Harris, a former player and friend, for taking such loving care of Buddy during the final phase of his journey.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be provided to the Hansen Fund for St. Mary’s University Men’s Basketball, or the Herman A. “Buddy” Meyer, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund , which assists St. Mary’s University student-athletes in their efforts to graduate. St. Mary’s online giving may be accessed here: https://alumni.stmarytx.edu/support/give-now/ The family greatly appreciates all of the tributes and stories that have been shared about Buddy and kindly requests you share them via this email, letterstoBuddy@gmail.com, so the family can consolidate and cherish them in the years to come.
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