Jeff Meyerink planning for unique split coaching role with Kernels, DWU golf

Jan. 11—MITCHELL — Even for someone who loves golf, Jeff Meyerink's schedule will be packed on the course this upcoming spring.

After being named the interim coach earlier in 2023, Meyerink was appointed as Dakota Wesleyan men's and women's golf coach in December. That will be added to his role as Mitchell High School girls golf coach for one more season, as the Kernels attempt to win a second consecutive Class AA state team championship.

Meyerink, who replaced Russell Pick as DWU's head coach, said the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level was one he simply couldn't pass up, especially after seeing what DWU has to offer.

"My daughter and I took a tour of the DWU over the summer," he said. "We were really impressed with the facilities and what they have to offer. When Russell (Pick) decided to leave, it seemed like the timing was right for me to step in and it's something I enjoy doing and have a passion for."

Meyerink has brought a wealth of experience to the program from his time leading the Kernel girls on the links. Mitchell has finished either first or second in the Class AA state golf tournaments the past three years. The Kernels have also won a pair of Eastern South Dakota conference championships. He was named the SDHSAA golf coach of the year last season after the Kernel girls won 10 of the 14 tournaments they entered.

"He has executed everything we've asked of him, and more, at a high level," then-DWU athletic director Jon Hart said in a December press release. "He has exhibited all the qualities and characteristics of a successful head coach at the collegiate level. He is a tremendous fit for our department and to lead these programs going forward."

Meyerink is a former Dakota Wesleyan golfer who won the 1999 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship for the Tigers. He's a six-time South Dakota Golf Association state event champion and a 12-time SDGA event finalist and the state's 2019 player of the year. He's also won the Mitchell city championship seven times and had nine career aces.

Now with the addition of his DWU duties along with being tasked to lead the Kernels in their defense of the state championship, Meyerink understands there needs to be a balance between his coaching duties. Intent on giving all programs the instruction they need, he's grateful for his assistant coaches who've stepped up to help him lead both DWU and MHS.

This arrangement is only temporary, as Meyerink plans for this to be his last season at the helm of the Mitchell girls golf team. However, the students' determination to improve and achieve their goals have helped make this spring possible.

"They all have goals and will do whatever is necessary to make it a successful season," Meyerink said. "The unmatched work ethic of the DWU men and women and the high school girls was a determining factor in the decision to coach all teams for the spring."

Both the DWU men's and women's golf teams will return to the course March 18, competing in the Battle at the Dance before hosting the DWU Spring Invite on April 8 at a site to be determined. The GPAC Championships are April 22-23 for the women and April 29-30 for the men.

Mitchell's season starts on April 11 in Harrisburg, while the state championships for the Class AA girls will be held in Yankton on June 3-4.

Regardless of where Meyerink will be when the spring season rolls around, his goal when it comes to coaching the kids on the links remains the same.

"My goal has always been to teach them the game of golf," he said, "not just for the season, but for a lifetime and maybe have a little fun along the way."