One on One with Lanett football’s new head coach

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

When Coach Clifford Story Jr. decided to step down from coaching Lanett’s football team, everyone knew that those shoes would be hard to fill. However, few could have filled those shoes better than Coach Wayne “Chip” Seagle. 

Seagle has been in coaching since 1985. He was an assistant coach for Lanett for 11 seasons and helped Lanett win two state championships. 

When Story called Seagle to come back as an assistant this spring, Seagle had just entered retirement. He had also just turned down another head coaching job. 

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“This is my dream job,” Seagle said. Seagle said that the Lanett job was the only opportunity that could have gotten him out of retirement. 

Not only was Coach Seagle a long time assistant coach for Coach Story, he was also the first person Story hired when he got to Lanett. 

Seagle just returned to Lanett in February after spending the past three seasons elsewhere. Seagle has history with the city of Lanett, but most of the athletes at Lanett currently were not in high school when Seagle was an assistant coach.

“This group of seniors that are coming up, they were in the eighth grade when I left,” Seagle said. “The school is not new to me, but a lot of the boys are kinda new to me.” 

In Seagle’s second year as the assistant coach for Lanett, the team lost nine games. The roster would look very different the next year with many young players making up the team. 

“That was the turning point for us as a program,” Seagle said. 

After Lanett won their second state championship in 2019, Seagle decided to retire from teaching. He would stay one more year as a coach before leaving. 

Story called Seagle a few weeks ago to let him know that he would be stepping down as a head coach and to gauge his interest in taking over the position. Story did not expect Seagle to be interested in taking the position. 

“He was kinda surprised,” Seagle said. Story said “I thought you were done?” Seagle just replied with “dude, it’s Lanett.” 

Seagle takes over the job just two months before he turns 61. His love and belief in the city of Lanett made coming back an easy choice. 

“The spirit of Lanett hasn’t changed,” Seagle said. “Lanetts a special place. When the call came, I said yes I’m coming.” 

“If I would’ve known about Lanett as a baby, I would’ve crawled on my hands and knees to get here,” Seagle said. “I was a fool for ever leaving.” 

At this point in his life, Seagle is no longer looking for jobs or things that will further his career. Instead Seagle is looking to make a positive impact in the athletes lives. 

“I’ll be 61 when we tee it off,” Seagle said. “When these boys are 40 years old, there’s a good chance I’m either gonna be at the coach’s office in the sky or the old coach’s home. You want to leave the world a better place than you found it.” 

The coaching staff for Lanett besides Seagle will mostly be the same as it was last season because Seagle has decided to retain everyone on the current staff. 

“I’d be a fool to do anything different,” Seagle said. 

Seagle believes that football should still be fun for the players on the team as well as the coaches on his staff. 

The offensive scheme for Lanett should be very balanced this season. Seagle plans to bring back the same offense the team ran when he was an assistant coach. 

“Go back and look at the film when I was here before,” Seagle. “I’m back and so is my offense. We’re gonna run my offense.” 

After his retirement from coaching, Seagle was not yet done with teaching the game of football. He currently has a Youtube channel where he teaches different parts of the game. Seagle also just released a manual for offensive lineman. 

Through the study that was required for the Youtube channel and the manual, Seagle has been able to expand his knowledge of the game.

Seagle believes that the best way to learn anything is to first teach that subject. Seagle will be employing this with his coaches. 

“I said before we start, y’all are going to have to teach what you’re going to teach the kids to the rest of the coaches,” Seagle said. 

The goal for Seagle going into every game that Lanett plays this season will be to win that game. Seagle said that he does not believe in going into the season expecting to lose any games.

“There’s 15 games potentially, I’d like to win all 15 of them,” Seagle said. “We don’t plan on losing any of them.”

On his social media, Seagle uses the hashtag “be elite”. This is his motto for football and for life.

“Being elite means being the best version of you,” Seagle said. “How do you become elite? By being better today than you were yesterday and by being better tomorrow than you were today.”