March 25, 2011
BERKELEY - For the first time in six years, Julie Meyer started the softball season in a place other than Berkeley for the former Golden Bear accepted a position as an assistant coach at Memphis. Meyer made the move to the Volunteer State after serving as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bears in 2010 and the student-assistant coach in 2009. With her presence already missed in Strawberry Canyon, CalBears.com tracked down Meyer to find out what life is like in the south.
Lettering from 2005-08 under head coach Diane Ninemire, Meyer graduated in 2010 with a degree in sociology. Meyer, who ranks fourth all-time in program history with 25 career home runs, provided the heroics in the Fresno Regional Championship game in 2008, when her bottom of the ninth-inning single down the left-field line against Fresno State scored the winning run to send the Bears to the Super Regional in Gainesville, Fla. The Yardville, N.J., native finished her career with 257 games played, 92 runs, 25 home runs and 85 RBI.
CalBears.com: What have you been up to since graduation?
Julie Meyer: I spent two years as a volunteer assistant coach with Cal and I am now an assistant softball coach at the University of Memphis.
CalBears.com: Can you describe your current job for us?
JM: I am the infield and catching coach. All three of us coaches - head coach Windy Thees and assistant coaches Nick French and myself - work on the offensive side to the game. I'm in charge of travel, doing the scouting reports and working with the incoming student-athletes. I also help with recruiting.
CalBears.com: Did you learn anything at Cal that you incorporate in your day-to-day?
JM: I learned a ton at Cal that I incorporate in my day to day. I have taken a lot of things practice and put them to use in our practices. Every one considers the Pac-10 the best conference in the country. If we want to be able to beat teams like a Cal or defending national champion UCLA, we need to work like they do on a daily basis. I also have taken the way Coach Ninemire works with her players and brought that with me. Coach was more than a coach to me at Cal. She is one of the most caring people I know, and I like to think that I have taken her kind of approach with my student-athletes. First and foremost, Coach really cares about the girls as people and I whole-heartedly believe in that philosophy. I hoping to help influence my student-athletes to be the best possible person they can be.
CalBears.com: Did Cal influence your career path?
JM: I was never sure if I completely wanted to coach, but Coach allowed me to stick around for two years after I was done playing. It was in those two seasons that I realized I didn't want to do anything else with my life but coach softball. Being around Coach and John and Tammy made me realize that I want to do the same thing as them - coach softball. Coach made a huge impact on my life in the six years I was at Cal, and I want to be able to do the same thing for my girls now. Coach is a big part of the reason I got the job at Memphis. From what I hear, she could not have spoken more highly of me. Anytime any one puts their name on you, they are taking a huge risk. It's a large risk for the person giving a recommendation, but Coach put her name on me and luckily I have not let her down.
CalBears.com: What was your favorite Cal moment?
JM: Personally, it was having the game winning hit at Regionals to beat Fresno State in extra innings and advance to Super Regionals. It was a big victory for me, not only because it helped the team advance, but also because I had a broken thumb and two torn ligaments in my thumb.