Kansas State welcomed two new assistant coaches in the offseason. They are both former K-State players who are entering their first seasons as full-time assistants at the BCS level.
Blake Seiler is the new defensive ends coach. Andre Coleman is the new wide receivers coach.
They were both hired several months ago, but were off-limits to the media until just recently at the team’s annual media day. Both coaches took some time to talk about their new jobs with K-Stated. Here are the highlights of those conversations:
This is your first year as full-time assistant, but you have been a member of Kansas State’s coaching staff for four years, both as a quality control assistant and graduate assistant. After all that waiting, what was it like to get promoted?
It was an unbelievable feeling, my time as a GA was almost up. I was looking for a job and to end up with a job here, at my alma mater … What more could you ask for? It’s the perfect job. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity. I am willing to give it whatever I can to make it work.
How did Bill Snyder break the news to you that you were being promoted?
He just came in my office, looked me in the eye and said, “Are you ready to move up.” I said, “Yes sir.” He said, “All right, I’m confident that’s the direction we are going to go.” We went from there.
You inherit a talented group of defensive ends, but none of them have much on-field experience. What is it like working with players that are going to be starting for the first time this season?
I don’t have much on-field experience. Ryan Mueller has the most playing experience. I do have a lot of guys who have been in the program and in our defense. Marquel Bryant has two years. Laton Dowling has three. Devon Nash has been here going through spring ball. At least they have been in the meeting room and they know how we practice and know what to expect. It should be as smooth a transition as we could ask for considering the circumstances.
How competitive are things going for the two starting spots?
I’ve got to give guys credit, they have really been competing hard. I hope they keep it up. I’m real happy with our depth right now. As long as we keep competing hard it is only going to make us better.
It seems like recruiting has been going well. What are your thoughts on getting so many commitments so early?
It’s awesome, when you come off a season like we did recruiting is a little easier than it is coming off a losing season. That is part of it. You can put it in perspective and make sure you are evaluating guys the same. We feel great about the guys we have committed so far. We just have to finish the class off strong.
How high up do you rank your commitments on your overall recruiting board?
Very high up. We have some great linebackers. We are still searching for a couple defensive ends, but we feel great about our defensive backs. They came out in camp and really impressed us. That’s the best time to evaluate a player at camp. It’s just a matter of getting the information available to offer them. It’s easy when you have guys at your camp. You can time them, work with them and coach them. If they do well at camp, that answers all your questions and you feel good about offering a guy early and getting a commitment.
Where have you spent the most time recruiting?
I have Louisiana. I have Oklahoma, except for the Tulsa corner. I have the Wichita area and junior colleges in Kansas, southern California and then all the Mississippi junior colleges.
That is a big area.
Yes, it is. But I’m the young coach on staff so I am excited about it. I don’t have a family yet so I am more than willing to go out and hit the road.
Last question: Have you made any major purchases since getting promoted and receiving a raise?
I moved into a new house in August. I’m not a GA anymore, so I don’t have to worry about going to class. I can live off campus.
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It’s been busy. Coach Snyder has kept us busy trying to learn the offense and learning the players and visiting with recruits. It has been exciting.
How do you think recruiting is going right now?
I haven’t been here that long, but we have, from my understanding, the most commitments we have had around here in quite some time. I would say recruiting is going pretty well.
What are your initial thoughts on your wide receivers?
They work hard. We have some speed. We have some size. We just have to improve on our fundamentals, continue to understand the game and develop mentally. I keep preaching the importance of understanding the game mentally to these kids. If you understand the game mentally every other aspect of the game slows down. They are doing a good job in that and they are getting better every day.
What is the one thing you preach most to your players?
It’s just fundamentals and how important fundamentals are. Fundamentals can make a big difference. When you get the opportunity to show it to them on film and show them that their technique or fundamentals are flawed in any way then coach them up and show them that same film when they are doing things the right way … It goes a long way when they see themselves improve on film.
What is it like being back at Kansas State after playing here and spending a few years at Youngstown State as an assistant coach?
It is a dream come true. It’s an opportunity to come back and be part of a program that has been so good to me and to be back in a place where I have so many great memories in my football career. It’s great to be back and to help these kids become better student-athletes.
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