CSJ’s David Mays caught up with Jacksonville State’s Athletic Director Greg Seitz just before a very eventful week on college athletics.
CSJ’s David Mays: If there were to ever be a Mr. Jacksonville State, it has to be you, correct ? 28 years at any place is unheard of, especially in this business. What has this meant to you?
Jacksonville State Director of Athletics Greg Seitz: Jacksonville State is a special place. We have a great team working here and it’s really a wonderful place to live and work. I’m very blessed to work with some outstanding people and it’s just a great University. We have great support among our faculty, staff, students, fans, alumni and University leadership, and I certainly don’t take it for granted.
Mays: What is the feeling around campus with the Covid-19 advisories and uncertainty nationwide with Fall Sports ?
Seitz: Our situation is no different than most schools across the country. We want to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, so any decisions that we make will be based on the health and safety of all involved.
Mays: Do you feel pressure with fall sports being adjusted/postponed/moved by different levels of Colleges and Universities in the NCAA, to do the same or stand pat and see how the ball rolls, in a sense ?
Seitz: The tough thing is how quickly things change, I mean it literally changes from day to day. We have a great task force that has done an outstanding job on our campus and in our department, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with our COVID-19 task force. We will also follow the guidance from the National Office and the OVC before making any decisions.
Mays: What are some of your favorite memories in the 28 years at JSU that stick out to you most?
Seitz: I’ve been very fortunate at JSU that we have won the most OVC Championships during our time in the league than any other school. Some of my favorite memories includes our 49-48 double OT win over Ole Miss in 2010 in football and our run to the FCS Football National Championship in 2015. Our 2017 OVC Basketball Tournament Championship, which was our first NCAA Tournament experience was a great memory for me. Our 2019 NCAA baseball team picked up their first wins in the NCAA Regionals by eliminating Clemson and Illinois and our softball team has been very successful by winning the Regional in 2009 and advancing to the Super-Regional. Those are just a few of my favorite memories.
Mays: Has there ever been a temptation to go elsewhere, or is JSU, home?
Seitz: Honestly, Jacksonville State is home for me and working at JSU has afforded me a great quality of life. Everything that we have been able to accomplish, whether its upgrades to our athletic facilities or the success that we have experienced on the fields and courts of competition, or the success in the classroom by our student-athletes. It’s really a family environment and atmosphere, and that’s been very satisfying for me and I look forward to continue to build upon our success.
Mays: You sit in various positions of postseason sports committees (basketball, baseball and football) and even chaired the 2019 FCS Football Playoff Committee. What does that mean to you and how did that all evolve?
Seitz: I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the membership and I’ve been very fortunate to work a lot of NCAA Championship events. These opportunities have allowed me to connect with a lot of people and make new friends, and that’s been very special to me.
Mays: You were named the Athletic Director in 2016, after being the intern a few times in the past. What do you feel are some of your greatest accomplishments?
Seitz: I’m certainly proud of all of the success we’ve enjoyed on the courts and fields of competitions, but I’m extremely proud of the athletic facility upgrades that we have made over the last several years. We opened a new $11 million baseball stadium, renovated our Coliseum and added a practice facility for basketball and volleyball, renovated our tennis complex, renovated our softball stadium and just opened a new Athletic Sports Performance Center. I’m also proud of the work in the classroom by our student-athletes as we posted a 3.47 grade point average this Spring semester. That’s a pretty impressive number when you consider we have more than 350 student-athletes.
Mays: Can you describe the average day for an Athletic Director?
Seitz: I’m in the office around 8 a.m. and most of my day is spent in meetings, returning emails and telephone calls. I have an open door policy and enjoy the interaction with our student-athletes, coaches and staff on a daily basis.
Mays: What is your favorite JSU tradition?
Seitz: We are fortunate that we have a lot of great traditions at JSU, but one of my favorites is our marching band – the Marching Southerners. We’ve had more than 450 members for the last several years and they add so much to our football game day experience, which is one of the Top 5 in FCS football. They definitely help us have a home field advantage.
Mays: Okay, last question… It’s really the most important; crunchy or creamer peanut butter? It’s been a running thing on my Twitter!
Seitz: You’ve put me on the spot, but I have to go with crunchy peanut butter. I really enjoy it on some Ritz crackers, one of my favorite snacks!
David is a former writer on SB Nation (BuildingTheDam), covering all sports at Oregon State. David also conducted field interviews with students athletes across all sports at Oregon State. Before that, he wrote for Know It All Football. He is a huge sports fan and loves college football and is the brains behind the Twitter handle HardcoreFCS.