By Barry Dalton
Former Van-Far Coach Brian Meny, who led the 2003-04 Van-Far Indians’ boys basketball team to its first-ever state championship, will be inducted into the 2021 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in October.
“Winning a state championship at Van-Far was incredible,” Meny told the Leader. “I had lots of special help along the way. Great players, parents and the community share this special award with me.”
With a career coaching record of 515-285, Meny has won one or more district titles at every school where he’s coached, including stops at Madison, Palmyra and Battle high schools, for a total of 13 district championships.
Currently the head coach at Battle High School in Columbia, Meny has been married to Sheila Meny for 27 years, and they have three sons, Trevor, Trae and Tristan. Trevor served as a ball boy for Van-Far and went on to be an all-state player for Palmyra under his father. Trae was all- state at Palmyra and two times at Battle. Tristan, Meny’s youngest son, was three-time all district. He sank 276 threes in three years. The coach’s sons have four district titles as players and two runner ups and 4,500 points combined.
Players on the 2003-04 Van-Far team included Chris Bahr, Chad Reading, Garon Suddarth, Ryan Schuckenbrock, Mike Smith, Shane Brookshier, Joe Basinger, Tanner Fennewald, Richie Schlueter, Jeffery Johnston, Tyler Hawkins and Chris Nation.
“Ron Stallcup receives special thanks,” Meny added. “He taught me more than basketball, but a lot about life. Him and [his wife] Dixie will always have a special place in the Menys’ family lives.”
Stallcup was the Van-Far athletic director. Todd Cripe was assistant coach.
Cheerleaders included Jessica Johnson, Ashley Ray, Tiffany Lennox, Amanda Krajewski, Amanda Grimmett, Scarlett Ellis, Kailyn Straube, Santana Davis, Alicia Otis and Kaitlyn Hardy. The Couch Potatoes were Nick Lower, Logan Strother, Matt Hopke, Sam Sutton and Tyler Winders.
Managers included Bethany Hoyt, Kendra Rogers and Ciarria Thomas. Stats were done by Matt Jungers and Erica Hopke.
The induction ceremony will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Springfield. Other Missouri coaches to be inducted this year include Todd Anderson, Greg Buescher, Tim Cool, Chris Duerr, Don Gosen, Bill Moyer, Dan Owens and Ronnie Richardson.