Wallace State men’s basketball coach John Meeks enters his eights season with the Lions in 2017-18 and has developed into one of the most successful coaches in the Alabama Community College Conference, compiling a 136-91 record with the program. Meeks has won a pair of ACCC/Region 22 tournament championships at Wallace State and was named the 2014 ACCC Coach of the Year after the Lions finished as wire-to-wire conference champions. This past season, the Lions finished the season 26-6 overall, after claiming the ACCC regular season chmapionship and being ranked as high as 15th nationally.
Before Meeks arrived to Wallace State, the men’s basketball program had one conference championship and one subsequent National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I tournament appearance under its belt. The 32-year-old Meeks has raised the expectations since, leading Wallace State to conference championships in 2012 and 2014 and to a pair of NJCAA Division I national tournament appearances.
In 2012, Meeks led the 6th-seeded Lions to his first conference tournament championship at Wallace State, winning four games in four days for title. In 2014, Meeks guided Wallace State to one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Lions won the ACCC/Region 22 regular-season title, the conference tournament championship and marched on to their second NJCAA Division I tournament appearance in three seasons under Meeks. Wallace State, which finished with a 28-7 record and had a midseason winning streak of 14 games, advanced to the second round of the NJCAA Division I tournament in 2014 after knocking off Westchester (N.Y.) CC in double overtime in the opening round.
Prior to his Wallace State career, Meeks spent two seasons as the head man at Louisburg College in North Carolina, where he went 51-15 and guided the Hurricanes to the NJCAA Division II championship, where they won their first ever national tournament game. Meeks, who has a 147-83 career record in seven seasons between his two head coaching stops, was also selected as the 2010 NJCAA District 15 Coach of the Year.
Meeks' entire coaching career spans 14 seasons and includes assistant stops at Bluefield College in Virginia and three years at NAIA Lee University (Tenn.). He has coached six NAIA All-Americans, one NJCAA All-American, 11 All-Conference players, five conference MVPs, six All-Region performers and one defensive player of the year.
During his time at Wallace State, Meeks has had Jamalcolm Griffin (2012) and Lee Moore (2014) earn conference tournament MVP recognition and Jeremy McKay (2012) grab a NJCAA third-team All-American nod. A plethora of other players have earned All-Region 22 or All-Tournament recognition under Meeks, including Jestin Lewis, Marcus Johnson and Jacquise Moore.
Meeks also stresses the importance of being a champion in the classroom, compiling an 84% graduation rate, and had a record seven players collectively graduate in 2014, marking the biggest men’s basketball group to graduate at one time.