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From player to coach: Kane Seeley is transitioning to the sidelines

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Kane Seeley Coaching

From left to right: defensive coordinator Tom Baum, senior linebacker Noah Silva, linebackers coach and former Iowa State linebacker Kane Seeley and head coach Kerry Denison. 

Inspiring.

Determined.

Influential.

These are the words that many Iowa State players and coaches used to describe Kane Seeley during his time on the football team.

Those characteristics have stuck with Seeley for the past year and have translated to his newest passion in life.

Coaching.

“I couldn’t stay away from the game,” Seeley said. “It was a big part of my life in college and wanted to continue that passion after graduating from Iowa State.”

Seeley graduated from Iowa State in December of 2016 with a full-time job in Colorado. His girlfriend at the time, Hannah Seeley, was a teacher and found a job in the Westminster Public Schools District.

After moving to Colorado and starting a whole new life, the two decided to get married on March 12, 2017. Kane Seeley said it was one of the best days of his life.

The Seeley couple started settling down in Colorado, but he needed more. He always learned to give back to the community as an Iowa State football player, so he wanted to do the same in his new community.

“I wanted to get to know the people within my community,” Kane Seeley said. “It’s always hard to move to a new location, but if you get to know the people, that transition is much easier.”

He wasn’t sure how to give back until Hannah Seeley heard about an opportunity that would be a perfect fit for the former Cyclone linebacker. She found out that the Westminster High School football team was looking for more coaches for the upcoming 2017 season.

It was a perfect fit in Kane Seeley’s mind and he wanted to see if it would be possible to handle a full-time job and this side activity as coach. He decided to meet up with the head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator for lunch and discuss what he could do to help this football team be successful.

Football falls to NDSU 14-34

Redshirt sophomore line backer Kane Seeley goes for the tackle during the North Dakota State game Aug. 30 at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones fell to the Bison 14-34.

Head coach Kerry Denison had a couple of thoughts after the first conversation with Seeley.

“He’s a humbling person and cares so much about the sport of football,” Denison said. “That’s what I love about him is how humbling he can be.”

It was an easy hire for Denison and on July 22, 2017, Seeley posted a picture of him holding a Westminster Wolves T-shirt and a caption saying “First time in 19 years that I won’t be competing in the game of football. On to the next chapter. Fired up to be helping coach high school ball. #GoWolves”

Seeley became the linebacker/defense coach for Westminster. It was a volunteer position and he usually came to practices twice a week. Though the position wasn’t paid, he didn’t care. He was able to help high school athletes understand the game of football and his passion for this particular sport.

Kane Seeley Coaching

Noah Silva, a senior linebacker for Westminster, said he remembered the first day that Seeley came to practice.

“We were like, ‘hey, did we get a new player?’” Silva said jokingly. “He was a younger coach, which was beneficial for the entire football team.”

Denison, who’s going into his eighth season as head coach and 20th season with the Westminster football team, said he likes how young Seeley is because he can relate more to the players.

Seeley said he understands what it takes to play in college football and he wants to instill those ideas and characteristics into these high school players for the future. Whether that be reading the play as a linebacker or focusing more on grades in school, Seeley wants to make them all-around student-athletes.

“We focus so much on athletic skills when it comes to football, that we sometimes forget the first part of that title,” Denison said. “These players are students first and education needs to come first before they play a football game.”

Denison said he likes Seeley’s philosophy on education coming first because it shows that football is not everything and that education will take you further in life. He also likes his mentality regarding how he runs practice day in and day out.

Seeley said he likes to participate in daily workouts and conditioning because it develops the relationships between his players as well as motivates the players to work hard.

Sometimes, though, those workouts are fun and create some memorable moments for players and coaches. One specific memory was after a hard conditioning day for the players, Kane Seeley told his linebacker core that he could beat them in a race.

Of course, the linebackers took on the challenge and raced him down the field. As they were running, Silva noticed someone fall down on the side of him. That person was Kane Seeley.

“That was a great day just because it showed how coach [Kane] Seeley can interact with the players on the team,” Silva said. “You can see the love and spirit he has for the sport of football.”

Kane Seeley wasn’t wearing cleats like the rest of the players, resulting in him slipping on the field and falling. There were a lot of laughs and memories made, but Silva said he appreciated how Kane Seeley took that challenge and made the day fun for the players.

One of the biggest challenges for Kane Seeley this past season was transitioning from a player to a coach. Instead of hitting an offensive player, Kane Seeley had to teach the linebackers how to hit other players.

“It was definitely a transition, but it was fun to see myself grow as an adult from this opportunity,” Kane Seeley said. “It’s fun to watch these players take what they learn from practices and incorporate it into the game. It could be small things like coverages or big things like interceptions or fumble recoveries, but overall they’re continuing to grow as players and that’s what I love to see.”

The Westminster football season didn’t end the way Kane Seeley or Denison hoped for with a 1-9 record. Even though it wasn’t the best regarding wins, Kane Seeley took this season as a win regarding chemistry between the team and the growth of these players for a successful future at Westminster.

Kane Seeley wants to come back to Westminster next season and Denison is happy to have him back with a possible extended role. Last season, Kane Seeley was in the press box overlooking the defense, which was a big step for him and the coaching staff.

Kane Seeley Coaching

Denison said there was a lot of trust in Kane Seeley to get the job done and relay information down to the coordinators on the field during the game. He sees the role expanding possibly in future seasons for Kane Seeley not only focusing on defense, but also putting an emphasis on special teams as well.

Heck, Denison brought up the idea of a possible head coaching position in the future for Seeley.

“In three to four years, I might be retiring [from the head coaching position],” Denison said. “[Kane Seeley] might have this job and hope he stays here for a number of years because he has the makeup to be a great head coach someday.”

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