Meath's football managers
Published 02/11/2010 | 05:00
Had played hurling for the county for 20 years and was technically player/manager of their senior hurlers (though he never picked himself during that time) before being persuaded to take over their footballers, initially as 'trainer/coach' with the promise that a new manager would soon follow. In his 23 years in charge he not only led Meath to eight Leinster and four All-Ireland senior titles, but did it with three very different teams.
When Boylan stepped down he was immediately replaced by Barry, who had challenged him strongly for the job several times during his reign and managed his own club, Dunshaughlin, to Leinster club glory. Barry lasted only a year after his charges lost to Wexford in the Leinster championship and then to Laois in the All-Ireland qualifiers.
Former county star Coyle took over for two years. He had been a selector with Boylan and had managed the Monaghan seniors and he brought in another county star -- Tommy Dowd -- as one of his selectors. Meath, through the back door, reached the All-Ireland championship semi-finals in his first year in charge, but the following summer they infamously lost a 10-point lead to Wexford in Leinster and he resigned when they went out of the qualifiers to Limerick.
Appointed in November 2008 after a protracted recruitment process from which Luke Dempsey pulled out, alleging that elements within the selection committee did not want an 'outside manager'.
After losing to Dublin in Leinster, a good run through the qualifiers brought Meath to the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final, where they lost to Kerry. This year they beat Dublin for the first time since 2001 to reach the Leinster final, where they beat Louth with a dubious late goal, but lost to Kildare in the All-Ireland quarter-final.