“A Coach with a Mission,” Ensign, Aug. 1998, 68–69
“You have really changed my life, Coach.” Ed Nymeyer has heard similar comments many times during his 38 years of teaching and coaching at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona. The winningest coach in Arizona high school history, he led teams to more than 300 wins in two sports: boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball. The athletes on his teams have loved him and played hard for him and have been respected for both their skill and their good sportsmanship.
Much of Coach Nymeyer’s teaching was done outside the classroom. His athletes never heard him use a swear word and soon learned the same was expected of them. He often invited groups of students to his home for parties with his wife, Donna, and children. “So many kids today are from broken homes,” he says. “It may be the only chance they have to see what a family can and should be.” Sister Nymeyer says it is almost impossible to go anywhere in Tucson without meeting one of the 4,000 young people he taught or coached over the years.
Among his many honors, Brother Nymeyer has been inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame, the Arizona Coaches’ Hall of Fame, and the Pima County Coaches’ Hall of Fame. He was also named the Arizona Daily Star volleyball coach of the year in 1991 and 1995.
An outstanding basketball player for the University of Arizona from 1954 to 1958, he earned several school records, including most points scored, most free throws made, and second-highest scoring average. Captain of the team for two years, he led the Wildcats in scoring for three consecutive years. While at the university, he also lettered in golf.
Brother and Sister Nymeyer recently completed an 18-month family history mission. “I love athletics and I love working with kids,” says Brother Nymeyer, “but working full time for the Lord doing genealogy and helping others find their kindred dead is very rewarding. It was perhaps the greatest experience of my life.”—Dana Bayardo, Tucson, Arizona