STEVE HANLON: What is going on at Hanover?

2011-08-05T22:00:00Z 2012-08-31T00:25:05Z STEVE HANLON: What is going on at Hanover?By Steve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
August 05, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

Dave Seils' resume reads like a book. A masterpiece, really. A War and Peace of high school sports.

For eight years he led the Hanover Central athletic department. The Wildcats won a state softball title, several wrestling crowns and in June the 'Cats baseball team advanced to the Class 2A state championship game.

Two weeks later he was fired.

The 1970 T.F. South grad spent 14 years at Trinity International University where he coached men's and women's basketball. He was also the athletic director, where he brought current Minnesota Vikings coach Lezlie Frazier in to start the football program there.

Hanover is planning on starting football in the coming years. And Seils was fired. Great move. There must've been a really, really, really good reason to send him packing.

Really?

"I have no comment because this is a personnel issue," district Superintendent Carol Kaiser said on the night Seils' family officially lost its livelihood.

This is Indiana. Cedar Lake is growing, but it still has a small-town personality. We've all heard stories in the past of a school board member having a beef with a coach and doing everything in his or her power to have the person removed.

Remember 'Hoosiers?'

But surely that was not the case with Seils or the Hanover school board. No, no, no. There really, really, really was a good reason. This firing was too legit to spit.

At the school board meeting in July the talk of a budget shortfall was expressed. These kind of conversations are taking place all over the state in these times.

I get it. So go ahead and charge the young basketball players in the district large quanitities to use the fieldhouse. Even though it was their families' tax dollars that built it.

Or go ahead and fire a good AD. Even if one school board member might be grinning a little too much behind her stack of papers.

Seils, though, is taking the high road.

"The reason I was given was the school board wanted to go in a different direction," Seils said that fateful night. "I had two principals in my eight years there and both of them were highly involved in high school sports. They both gave me very good evaluations, but they wanted to go in a different direction."

The word on the street is the next AD at Hanover will also be a middle school principal. Two times the work. Two times the savings for a district that, at that same school board meeting, discussed being a million dollars in the hole.

But ask Hammond and Gary how athletic directors doing other jobs during their day works. It doesn't. You can't cook tator tots and get officials for Friday night's football game.

Hanover, you need an athletic director who does nothing more than direct athletics. Give the mop to someone else.

"I'm proud of what I did here," Seils said. "Our coaches built their programs, their players competed well, and I believe we had the respect of the other schools in the area.

"And high school sports is a small part of a kid's life. I think we did a great job preparing them for the rest of their lives."

Here's hoping the Wildcats who were under Seils' leadership go to college, earn great grades and return to their hometown. And run for the school board as soon as they're able.

I would vote 5-0 in favor of that.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

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