Jim was born in Sandusky, Ohio on September 8, 1952 to Jim and Jean Meckstroth. He is the oldest of six children that were raised on a beef farm near Wilton, Wisconsin. As a freshman, Jim started on the varsity football team that went 7-1. Prior to graduating in 1970, he was a member of an undefeated football team his senior year at Royall High School.
Meckstroth continued playing football at the collegiate level at Ohio State for the legendary coach Woody Hayes. He was fortunate enough to be part of a team that defeated Michigan twice and went to two Rose Bowls.
Upon graduation from Ohio State in 1974, Meckstroth started his teaching and coaching career in Marysville, Ohio. He was a member of the varsity staff that was able to win the school's first Conference Championship in 1975.
In 1978, he was hired by principal John Doyle (a fellow member of the Hall of Fame-class of 1996) to be a social studies teacher and head football coach of Cuba City High School. He would end up being the head coach of the Cubans for the next 30 years. During that time, his teams won six Conference Championships and qualified for the playoffs nine times. His overall record is 169-117. Coach Meckstroth was fortunate enough to serve as an assistant to Head Coach, Bill Rice in the 1998 North-South All-Star Football Game and served as the head coach of the All-Star Game in 2008. He is proud that he has been a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association since 1979 and was named District Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2007. Jim is grateful to have coached against coaches in the SWAL as well as the former Southern 8.
Over the years, Coach Meckstroth has worked with dedicated assistant coaches including Guy Kopp (the present head football coach at Cuba City High School), Gary Meyer, Steve Graber, Jason Holzemer, Ryan McGranahan, Kyle Kern, and Troy Updike of the current coaching staff, as well as many others throughout his career.