Cameras are rolling today on the Lipscomb University campus as part of the production of “My Many Sons,” a film about the life of legendary former Bison basketball coach Don Meyer.
Known across the country as a coach’s coach, for his ability to teach basketball fundamentals and for his success on the court, Meyer was thrust into the national spotlight on Sept. 5, 2008, when he was involved in a near-fatal accident in South Dakota that resulted in multiple surgeries, the amputation of his left leg below the knee and the discovery of cancer in his liver and small intestine. He died following a lengthy bout with cancer on May 18.
“My Many Sons” depicts the relationships that Meyer forged with his players throughout his career and the impact he had on generations of young people.
“This story is not about wins or records, but rather about Coach’s relationships with players and their families,” said Casey Bond, whose company, Higher Purpose Entertainment, is producing the film. “It’s about how one man took the time to build character in young people, which is something we desperately need in our world today. Coach Meyer made the most of a very difficult situation in his life and ran with it. He took what he learned in life and as a result of the accident. He used every ounce of energy he had to communicate with anyone he came in contact in a remarkable way. There was no sitting on the bench for him.”
Filming is scheduled to take place on the Lipscomb campus from Aug. 12-16. Production will also take place in other locations throughout Nashville and in Aberdeen, S.D., where Meyer was head coach of the Northern State University Wolves men’s basketball team for 11 seasons.
As head coach from 1975-1999, Meyer led the Bisons to a 665-179 record. During this time, he led the Lipscomb program to an NAIA national championship in 1986 and 13 national tournament appearances. He produced the top two scorers in the history of college basketball, three national players of the year and 22 All-Americans. He also produced all-time career leaders in 3-point shooting, steals and assists.
He took the helm of the Northern State University men’s basketball program in August 1999. He retired at the end of the 2009-10 season with a record of 923 wins and 324 losses, making him one of the winningest coaches in basketball history. Meyer won a number of national awards, including the 2009 ESPY for the Jimmy V (Jim Valvano) Award For Perseverance. Meyer, also a nationally known motivational speaker, is the subject of an award-winning book by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The project will give students in Lipscomb University’s film and creative media graduate studies program the opportunity to work with industry professionals to gain hands-on experience in various phases of film production.
Bond, a former Bison outfielder who was featured in the critically acclaimed film, “Moneyball,” has devoted much of the last three years to research, development and planning for this project.
“I had a coach like Coach Meyer when I played baseball,” Bond recalls. “That coach had a great impact on who I am today. I know how important a coach’s influence can be on a player. Coach Meyer’s story is fascinating. Everyone needs to know who he is and the values he stood for on and off the court. His servant leadership is a great example for all of us.”
Bond has teamed up with veteran Hollywood producer Brad Wilson, who ran actor Robert Duvall’s production company for 11 years, and are producing the film under their production company Higher Purpose Entertainment, along with a host of other talented and tested individuals. Bond is slated to play Meyer’s son, Jerry, in the film.
Bond was drafted out of Lipscomb by the San Francisco Giants. After his career ended in their farm system, Bond decided to give acting a try, even though he had other offers to continue his baseball career. After a national commercial and an appearance on a reality show featuring Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons and his family, Bond landed his first major movie role in “Moneyball.”
Along with taking acting classes with the legendary Larry Moss at his studio, among others, Bond has been a spokesperson for numerous companies, doing print ads for A.D.I.D.A.S., Nike, Muscletech, along with commercials for One A Day Men’s Vitamins, Nike, Blue Bunny and others. Also, he has appeared on the popular reality show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” as the handyman. He has also been featured on an episode of ABC television’s “Nashville;” a faith-based, inspirational Sony film, “Ring the Bell;” and a Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial in addition to other film and commercial projects.