For George Seifert, taking over as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers will be quite a different experience from the first time he got a job as a head coach. That was in 1965, when the Westminster College Parsons of Salt Lake City hired Seifert, then 24, as their head coach.
Unlike the current 49ers, Westminster wasn't coming off a Super Bowl-like championship season. The Parsons, as a matter of fact, weren't coming off any kind of a season. They'd dropped their football program in 1961. By '65 they decided to crank it back up again and Seifert, who had played as a reserve lineman at the University of Utah and had coached the Utah freshman team in 1964, was their choice to do the cranking.Seifert went 3-3 that season and a coach was born. He moved on quickly after that, taking a job next at Iowa under Ray Nagel, who had been his coach at Utah.
It's no surprise to his old coaches at Utah that Seifert has gotten to where he is today. "He was just an average player," remembers Ned Alger, now an assistant athletic director at Utah who coached on Nagel's staff when Seifert was a player. "But he was bright. A good thinker. He took time to ponder. I think that's what's made him successful."