Nick Meyer always knew he wanted to get back into the Fieldcrest football program in some capacity.
“I still pay a lot of attention to Fieldcrest,” said Meyer, who is currently living in Louisville, Kentucky, and working in sales. “I watch games on Hudl. My dad coaches there. My brother coaches there. I’m friends with a lot of the coaches and their families.”
So when the head coaching position opened at Fieldcrest, along with a chance to join the family business at the Meyer Jochums Agency, Meyer couldn’t pass it up.
Fieldcrest announced Meyer as its next football coach Wednesday.
“It’s kind of surreal,” said Meyer, a 2011 FHS graduate. “The communities that make up Fieldcrest mean the world to me. There’s a sense of pride in every town that makes up Fieldcrest. The community support is unmatched. The games are always packed and everywhere you go people are talking about the game. I’m so excited to come back to Fieldcrest.”
Meyer brings a resume that includes a year as a Fieldcrest assistant in 2017 along with experience at the college level at Illinois State University.
He served as a student assistant at ISU from 2011 to 2015 where he worked with the defense.
Meyer was away from football in 2016 as he worked in sales in Chicago before returning as an assistant at Fieldcrest when the Knights went 7-3 and qualified for the Class 2A playoffs under Derek Schneeman.
He then went back to ISU as a full-time assistant from 2018 to 2021. He worked in quality control geared mostly toward the offensive line and helping the offensive staff. Meyer also served as the team’s recruiting coordinator his last season.
Fieldcrest athletic director Jason Chaplin said Meyer’s connections to Fieldcrest, as well as his college coaching experienced helped him stand out in the hiring process.
“Some of the things he mentioned in the interview were things we were looking for at Fieldcrest,” Chaplin said. “Just getting back to some of the basics of small town football. That mentality of what it takes to be a football player. A lot of things impressed us about him. He’s a football guy. The fact that he’s from Fieldcrest and he understands where we want to get back to, and that’s playing solid, hard-nosed football.
“We’re lucky to have him. He has a great background in football. He has a lot of connections and ability to network. He’s a hard worker. He put together a game plan. We’re looking forward to what he can bring to Fieldcrest.”
Meyer has a connection to every coach in Fieldcrest history.
His father, Craig, has been an assistant under the all five FHS coaches. Meyer played under Brett Cazalet and Nate Lorton and served as an assistant under Schneeman and alongside Mike Freeman.
Meyer takes over a program that went 4-9 in two seasons under Freeman, going 4-0 in the COVID-19-shortened spring and 0-9 in the fall with a roster full of underclassmen.
“The systems Fieldcrest have had in the past have been very successful,” Meyer said. “Fieldcrest has always had very good athletes. We hope to continue that. We want to get kids out for football and play to their strengths. Year in and year out, we’ll look at the team and see where we’re strong and where we need help. We’ll retool the offense to that. Same with the defense.”
Meyer, who said he plans to keep Fieldcrest’s long-time coaching staff in tact, said he hopes to have a positive culture and continue the Knights’ winning ways, which include 14 playoff appearances in 30 seasons along with semifinal appearances in 2014 and 2019.
“I’m a first-time head coach. I have a ton to learn. I hope to be here forever and learn every year,” Meyer said. “We have a really young team [coming back], but a team with a ton of varsity experience. We want to take that experience and build on it. We want the kids to have a ton of fun playing at Fieldcrest. We want to win and do what Fieldcrest has traditionally done.
“We’ll talk to the players about realistic goals for us and we’ll have passion and excitement in the program.”