By Brad Morris
WILLIAMSPORT — Children only grow up once and Christian Meister wants to play a bigger role in the formative years of his two children.
So, after four seasons at the helm of the Westfall boys basketball program, Meister announced to his team on Monday that he is resigning as head coach.
“I feel like the years my children are in right now are ones I can’t get back and I want to be there as much as I can for my wife and two children, who are two years and five months old,” Meister said. “I know how much time and energy it takes to run a successful program and prepare our kids the right way.
“If I am putting that much time into the program, then I can’t be around my family as much as I should. And if I am not putting that much time into the program, then it isn’t fair to our kids.”
Meister, 28, led the Mustangs to a 43-49 record over his four years, including winning 25 games over the past two seasons. The Mustangs (14-10, 10-4) won double-digit Scioto Valley Conference games for just the sixth time in program history this past season and posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1999 and 2000.
“When I got here and started to watch the tape, I was honestly a little worried if I had made a mistake by accepting the job, because there was a lot of work that needed to be done to turn things around,” Meister said. “Our kids quickly put those fears to rest, because they were phenomenal and bought into everything we were teaching.
“I’m thankful for our first two senior classes, because they set the foundation for what we have been able to accomplish the last two years and I appreciate our last two senior classes for helping to lead the way in making Westfall a competitive basketball program again with back-to-back winning seasons and doing a few things that hadn’t been done around here in a while.”
Meister wanted to make the announcement early to give the school the best opportunity to find right candidate to succeed him as coach.
“I wanted to get our job posting out there quickly, so we could attract a good list of candidates and I hope to be part of the process of finding the next coach, along with our athletic director (Brian Wolfe) and principal (Jason Fife),” he said. “I want to find the best replacement possible, because we have a good group of kids coming back, along with the improvements we have made to our facilities.”
Meister plans to remain at Westfall as assistant principal of the middle and high schools.
“The Westfall community accepted me four years ago and gave a young guy an opportunity to take charge of its boys basketball program and then be an assistant principal,” Meister said. “With the addition to the high school and middle school and the leadership we have in this district, the future is exciting for Westfall and I don’t have plans to leave anytime soon. My family and I are proud to be Mustangs.”
And what about one day potentially returning to the sidelines?
“Next season will be strange, because it will be the first time that I’m not either coaching or playing basketball since I was like five years old,” Meister said. “My focus and priority right now are my family and it’s going to be for the foreseeable future.
“I’m still a young guy and I might come back and coach again or maybe I won’t, but that decision is down the road.”