Former Eastern York boys' basketball standout to take over the Golden Knights girls' team

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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Jason Seitz

Some athletes are made to play.

Others are meant to coach.

Jason Seitz was destined for both.

One of the top basketball and baseball players to ever put on an Eastern York Golden Knights jersey, Seitz was a force that opponents would have to reckon with during his playing days from 1992 to 1995.

Now, Seitz is hoping to bring that kind of success to the Eastern girls’ basketball program. The Millersville University graduate was officially hired by Eastern to take the reins as the next head coach late last month.

“It was kind of fortunate how this whole ordeal worked out,” said Seitz, who will take over for his friend Brad Weaver, who stepped down after five very successful seasons. “It was kind of unique situation, but it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to.”

Seitz had an idea that he wanted to pursue coaching shortly after he graduated from Millersville. He helped out as an assistant for Marty Hassenfuss, who coached Seitz during his time at Eastern, for two seasons.

After those two seasons, Seitz stepped away from coaching to pursue his passion for the sport that he’s probably best-known for in these parts — baseball.

Playing with his brother Justin, a catcher who just happens to be Eastern’s current boys’ basketball coach, and under his dad, Rod, Jason Seitz performed at a high level during his 18 seasons in the Susquehanna League.

Seitz retired a few years ago after a hall-of-fame career compiling an impressive list of numbers while playing for Wrightsville, East Prospect, Windsor and Hallam — a .344 lifetime average with 83 homers and 469 RBIs.

Regaining his passion for basketball: Since hanging up his cleats, Seitz regained his passion for basketball, thanks to a big assist from another all-time great in York County high school basketball — Red Lion coach Don Dimoff.

With his two daughters playing in the Red Lion youth basketball program, Dimoff approached Seitz with an offer he just could not refuse.

“Don remembered me from playing in high school,” Seitz said. “And I had two daughters (Arianna and Emerson) that were trying out, so that’s what technically got me back into coaching after he asked if I wanted to be involved with the youth program.”

Getting back to the high school ranks: Seitz returned to the high school ranks in 2016 when he stepped in to help Bill Novak at Red Lion when Dimoff took a position with the Millersville University women’s basketball team. After a two-year stint under Novak, Seitz returned to his alma mater when he moved back into the Eastern York School District in 2018.

He quickly bonded with Weaver, who asked Seitz to help run Eastern’s youth program, which he did for the past three years.

Weaver’s future leading the program was whispered about quietly this past season. It’s not uncommon for coaches to step down after one of their children graduates.

“It made all the sense in the world for Brad (to step down),” Seitz said. “Obviously he had to make a decision with his young son, Jack, who plays for the boys’ team. And then he has a younger son as well. That said, it was never addressed with anyone like ‘oh yeah, this is it,' but I kind of sat back and thought that this is maybe something that can happen.”

Taking over a successful program: Those events set in motion the chain of events that eventually saw Seitz take over one of the most highly acclaimed programs in the York-Adams League after Weaver led the Knights to a 77-43 mark over his tenure.

“Once I got in the gym with Brad (back in 2018), I knew I definitely wanted to do this,” Seitz said. “I just have so much passion for coaching and the game of basketball and I’m just so thankful for Brad that he let me get so involved in his program.”

Like Weaver, Seitz will have the opportunity to spend some extra time with his daughter Arianna, who will be a sophomore next year. Playing as a key reserve off the bench for the Knights as a freshman, Arianna Seitz averaged 4.7 points per game while finishing third on the team with 22 made 3-pointers.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.