On Thursday, the Iowa Girls Coaches Association announced the Girls Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame Class for 2020. The Hall of Fame Class of 10 outstanding men, includes BJ Mayer. Mayer, starting his head coaching career at North Iowa (Buffalo Center) in the late 1990s.
BJ Mayer is a native of Osage, Iowa where he played basketball and baseball for the Green Devils. He also got the unique opportunity to play for his dad in those sports.
Following high school, Mayer went to the University of Northern Iowa, to major in education. Mayer knew he wanted to someday follow his father’s footsteps, and become a coach. Following his graduation from UNI, BJ returned home to Osage, to assist with the Green Devil Boy’s Basketball program.
The 1995 team will go down as one of the best to ever take the court for the Green Devils and it ended with the ultimate prize, an Iowa High School Boys State Basketball Championship. Mayer was happy for his dad after all the hard work he had put in, and being there to help celebrate making it better.
With the taste of success and the desire for more, Mayer went on to become a head coach himself, something he says he always wanted.
Mayer got his first head basketball coaching job in Buffalo Center before the start of the 1998/1999 season, a season that Bison girls basketball fans, won’t forget. That team, led by All-State Selection, Katie Lockrem, is the only 5v5 girls’ basketball team North Iowa has ever sent to Des Moines. They finished as a state semifinalist, falling to IKM 42-40, after beating Treynor in the quarterfinals 26-19.
Mayer on making it to state with North Iowa:
He remembers the quarterfinal against Treynor pretty well.
Even inside Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the shooting was ice-cold, North Iowa and Treynor played the lowest-scoring game in five-player tournament history. After 12 minutes, the score was 4-4. North Iowa had a 9-8 halftime lead. At the time, the 26 points were the fewest by a winning team in the state tournament since 1945, when Coon Rapids won a 25-21 semifinal game.
That 1998/1999 trip would be the first and last at North Iowa for Mayer, but not the last as a head coach. After leaving Buffalo Center, Mayer took Spirit Lake to Des Moines in back to back years 2006 and 2007. The Indians finished as the runner-up in 2007. Following that season, Mayer took over as the head coach of Iowa City West. In 2012, Mayer reached the pinnacle of coaching, his Women of Troy won the Iowa High School Class 4A State Championship.
Mayer also won a Class 5A championship in 2018 with West. With Iowa City West, he has also has finished runner-up in 2015 & 2017.
Other Coaches: John Agans, Bruce Dall, Robert Driscol, Curt Klaahsen – Mason City Mohawks, Tom Petersen, Steve Sauvain, Tony Vis, and Roger Wright. The coaches will be honored at an event on April 4th in Cedar Rapids.
A shoutout to North Iowa from BJ.
Listen below to my entire conversation with BJ Mayer.
Zarren Egesdal is the Sports Director of KIOW Radio. Do you have a story idea? Contact him at 641-585-1073 or firstname.lastname@example.org