Seider Brings Recruiting Reputation to Dream Job at WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Seider Brings Recruiting Reputation to Dream Job at WVU


It did not take long for JaJuan Seider to say yes when Dana Holgorsen called with a job offer.

The former West Virginia University quarterback considered returning to his old stomping grounds as an assistant coach to be the dream job from the time that he first joined the staff as a graduate assistant. When Robert Gillespie left a vacancy in the running backs room, Seider was an obvious candidate to fill it.

He received the offer on a Friday and began coaching the Mountaineers' running game two days later.

"It was a no-brainer," says Seider, now just over a week into the job. "As a coach, just getting in this profession and on this level, that's a dream. To be back to the place where it started at, I can't ask for anything better. I just hope I can stay here for a long, long time."

The first step in the process was to leave his most recent job at Marshall University behind. Not only was it his first college assistant coaching position, but it was also an opportunity he got while working alongside a man who grew to mean quite a lot to Seider since he was a high school athlete growing up in Belle Glade, Fla.

Letting Marshall coach Doc Holliday know that he would be leaving the Herd staff was a difficult, but necessary part of Seider's transition back to Morgantown.

"The hardest thing to do is leave your mentor, a guy that you look up to. Doc's been recruiting me since I was 15 and just to go in that office and say, ‘Hey, Doc, I got a call,'" Seider says. "He said, ‘I would be more selfish as a person and as a coach if I tell you to stay here. Hey, you played there, they're going to take care of you. You've got to go. I can't tell you to stay here.' That meant a lot to me. That took a big burden off of my shoulder to be able to leave Doc on that note. He was great."

It helps make the move easier that West Virginia and Marshall played the last scheduled edition of the Friends of Coal Bowl last season, so there won't be situation where Seider would have to face Holliday and the players he's leaving behind.

"The majority of the kids that are over there that are playing, I recruited and they're starting for them and they're going to be pretty darn good," he says. "I'm glad we don't play them."

Seider had developed a reputation as a real weapon in the recruiting game before he even had the opportunity to actually recruit. Graduate assistants have restrictions that coaches do not, so Seider could not call or visit high school prospects the last time he worked at WVU.

Still, there were many times when a phone call to a recruit in the south Florida area who was being recruited by Holliday resulted in a conversation about Seider. His reputation in the area with many high school coaches worked in West Virginia's advantage before he even had a chance to be a recruiter.

After a few years recruiting at Marshall, his relationships have become even stronger and now WVU will have the opportunity to utilize them in the Sunshine State.

"When you're talking recruiting, you can actually sell the program because you've been a player here, you've been an alumni here, you've been a grad assistant coach here, so when I actually talk to a kid now, I can actually sell the program and sell what I'm really talking about," says Seider. "I'm not just feeding you a bunch of stuff, I lived it."

WVU receivers coach Lonnie Galloway was on staff when Seider served as a graduate assistant, but he says the other coaches always viewed him as an equal. He credits Seider with helping to reel in players like quarterback Geno Smith and receiver Stedman Bailey through the friendships he has in their home state.

"He has a tremendous respect for the people down in south Florida," says Galloway. "Being down there with Doc, obviously Doc recruited Florida for 30 years, so it was one of those things where to be able to go down there with him to learn guys and he's from Florida. It's good to get him, but obviously JaJuan can recruit anywhere."

For Seider, as well as many successful recruiters, it all begins with relationships.

"The coaches in that area trust me," he says. "They know if I tell a kid I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it and I'm a man of my word. That's what you've got down there. They want to send their kids with guys they trust."

Holgorsen trusts Seider to be that guy, to bring more athletes from that talent-rich state to his program all while coaching the Mountaineers' rushing attack.

It is a job Seider has been working toward since he made the decision to become a coach and his plan is to hit the ground running.

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