Matt Seidl takes over as head coach of Saline High School boys basketball program
It didn’t take long for the Saline High School boys varsity basketball program to find a new head coach.
Saline athletic director Rob White announced the hiring of Matt Seidl on the athletic department’s website on Sunday, less than a month after Jay Plitzuweit handed in his letter of resignation on July 1 after coaching the Hornets for four seasons.
White was plenty familiar with Seidl’s resume. The two were teachers and coaches together at Willow Run High School in the late 1990s. White was an assistant on Seidl’s basketball teams, Seidl was an assistant on White’s baseball teams, and they have remained close ever since.
White reached out to Seidl when the position was open in 2007, but it wasn’t the right time for Seidl and his family. That wasn’t the case this time around.
“When Jay resigned, Matt was someone I knew I wanted to pursue,” White said. “I’ve been in the locker room with him at the end of many seasons -- many unsuccessful -- I’ve seen the connection he has with those seniors, when they take off that jersey for the last time. ... You see the relationship he develops with kids and it’s beyond X’s and O’s.”
Despite their history, White says Seidl wasn’t a shoe in.
“We actually had a number of people apply,” White said, with interviews taking place before a committee over the weekend. “It wasn’t ‘if he was interested it was his.’ There was a process and procedure followed.”
Siedl, 48, has been a language arts teacher at Willow Run for 16 years and was the head coach for the Flyers from 1992-1997, winning three conference titles and four district titles in that span and advancing to the state quarterfinals in 1996. He also won district titles in head coaching stints in Pinckney (’90-92), and Ypsilanti (’99-’03), and was head coach at Manchester from ’97-’99.
Seidl’s overall record as a boys head coach is 178-117. He was 127-53 in eight seasons as a girls head coach at Pinckney and Belleville.
Despite his lengthy coaching experience, Seidl may soon encounter a new challenge: coaching against his oldest son, Derek, 15, a sophomore at Dexter. The teams aren’t scheduled to play in the upcoming season, but are both participants in Dexter’s annual Christmas tournament.
“Derek and I have a really good relationship and will probably enjoy it more than people would realize,” said Seidl, whose other son, Tony, 13, is a seventh-grader in Dexter. “(Derek) doesn’t need his old man sitting next to him They’ll be fine with or without me.”
One person who will miss Seidl’s sitting next to him is Dexter head coach Randy Swoverland, who called Seidl “one of the best coaches I've ever dealt with.”
“It’s a huge loss for our program and a huge gain for Saline,” Swoverland said, commending Seidl's ability to help players find their role for the team's gain, scout opponents, and diligently prepare for practices and games. “He’s got the whole package.”
Saline was 8-13 last season and has had three consecutive sub-.500 seasons since winning a district title in 2008, Plitzuweit’s first year.