An unquestioned characteristic of a good coach is an unwavering commitment to his or her players.
So, in that regard, the fresh head coaching career of Justin Seitz is off to a good start.
In fact, it was the established relationship with his previous squads that led the former Eastern York boys’ basketball standout to pursue the head-coaching position at his alma mater.
Seitz, a 1,000-point scorer and a 1999 graduate of the school, was approved as the boys' varsity head coach by the Eastern York school board Thursday night.
He takes over for another former Golden Knight, Jon Reichard. The school parted ways with Reichard after seven seasons at the helm. Reichard was 94-73 with the Knights.
“I’m real excited. Very unique situation,” Seitz said. “And what makes it very unique is when I first started coaching at Eastern a couple of years ago, my first team that I coached is going to be the senior class next year. So, I have relationships with that entire group that’s coming back. So, ultimately, that was one of the main reasons I decided to apply for the position and had interest.”
Seitz is fifth on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,488 points. He led a Golden Knights run atop the York-Adams Division II standings that spanned from 1997-99. After his career in Wrightsville, Seitz went on to play for Lock Haven University.
Seitz has also shown long-standing commitment to the program whose uniform he once wore, starting his coaching career with the school’s seventh-and-eighth-grade team. He then continued to climb the ranks, with a spot leading the freshman team before serving as a varsity assistant a year ago under Reichard.
The Knights’ new bench boss also spent the past five years working with the York Ballers AAU program. There, he coaches the 16-and-under and 11-and-under teams, as well as performing various operational duties for the program. Not wanting to "bail" on those players, he plans to see those commitments through to their completion this summer before determining his future status with the organization.
The Knights are coming off a season that saw a younger, mostly inexperienced squad with only two seniors go 9-13 overall with a 5-7 mark in Y-A D-II play. That was on the heels of a 2015-16 campaign that saw the team post a 22-7 overall mark and reach the District 3 Class 3-A title game.
The Knights' last division crown is a 2013 co-championship and the program’s last league title came in 2011. Its last District 3 title is a Class 3-A crown from 2010.
“Working closely with, and knowing, the group is definitely an advantage. Knowing the personnel and knowing some things they tried to do the past couple of years,” Seitz said. “We’ll definitely look to build off what’s already going on there and then add some of my own philosophies to it. And create a style that gives us an opportunity to win and compete every night.”
— Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.