Many students graduate from local high schools each year, head off to college, and then hit the ground running in the workforce. So it is always interesting to catch up with a former student, especially when you realize the great success they have experienced in their life as an adult.
As a Trojan, Damon Seiger played on the high school basketball team under former head coach Jim Brink.
Seiger graduated from Community R-VI in 1996. He then went to East Central College in Union, Mo., where he played both baseball and basketball. Following his graduation in 2000, he transferred to Missouri State in Springfield where he got his teaching degree. Seiger has since went on to a successful career as a teacher and a coach.
Seiger began his career as a student assistant coach in 2001 at Ozark High School. There he experienced two district championships and a Class 4 state title in 2003. The Vandalia Leader’s General Manager/Editor Ron Schott then worked for the Christian County Headliner News and followed Seiger’s success with the Tigers during the run to a title.
The squad featured two NCAA Division I basketball players as well as current Houston Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell.
“We had a great run, had some very talented kids, and I worked under Hall of Fame coach Steve Hunter,” Seiger said.
Seiger then got some head coach experience by serving in smaller school districts like Kirbyville, Fordland, and El Dorado Springs.
Seiger ventured back to Ozark High School where he served five years under Steve Hunter as the head assistant coach.
During his time in Ozark, Seiger helped lead the Tigers to consecutive Blue and Gold Holiday Invitational Tournament victories in 2009 and 2010.
“Ozark is known for their athletic prowess in southwest Missouri, if not the entire state,” Seiger said.
From there, Seiger spent two seasons as the Hornets’ assistant coach at Class 4 Hillcrest High School in Springfield. Success followed Seiger once again as the Hornets won back-to-back titles.
In 2012, Seiger and his team finished the season as the state runner-up for class 4.
The Hornets finished up the 2013 season with a 20-5 record, after losing to St. Francis Borgia in the first round of the playoffs.
Seiger was recently hired as the head basketball coach at Marshfield High School on April 15 of this year.
“My philosophy of coaching is about building relationships. That is a big reason why I got into doing what I do, not only the educational field but also the coaching field. It’s an opportunity to mold and be apart of young mens lives, not only developing them to become better basketball players, but hopefully become better men,” Seiger said. “I was fortunate to have some pretty influential people in my life, particularly teachers and coaches that directed me in a positive way. If you can develop the relationships with kids and get them to buy into what you’re trying to sell them, then you will be successful.”
Playing in the class 4 Ozark conference, the Blue Jays have some tough upcoming competition in Springfield Hillcrest, Logan-Rogersville, and Bolivar. Currently, the Blue Jays varsity basketball team is 3-1 on the season.
“Class 4 basketball down here or really anywhere is pretty significant. You got to show up night in and night out or else you’re probably going to be on the backside of things and not like the outcome,” Seiger said.