WVU Confirms Blake Seiler As Football Defensive Assistant
West Virginia University football coach Neal Brown has announced that Blake Seiler will join the Mountaineer coaching staff as an assistant coach on the defensive side. Brown will announce staff assignments at a later time.
“I’m excited to add Blake Seiler to the coaching staff at West Virginia,” Brown said. “He has an outstanding reputation as a tireless recruiter and has experience in developing players. He has a familiarity with the Big 12 and already having worked with Vic Koenning early in his time at Kansas State should help with the transition here. I look forward to Blake and his family joining the Mountaineer Football family.”
Seiler comes to West Virginia after serving on the defensive staff at Kansas State for the last 10 years, including spending time as the assistant defensive coordinator in 2017 and as the defensive coordinator in 2018.
“I am excited to come to West Virginia and be a part of Neal Brown’s coaching staff,” Seiler said. “I have a great amount of respect for coach Brown and the success that he has had in his career. I’m also pleased to be reunited with coach Vic Koenning, who has been a great defensive mind for a long time. I have a lot of admiration for the history and tradition of the West Virginia football program, and I’m looking forward to being a part of Mountaineer Nation.”
Seiler coached the Wildcat linebackers in 2017-18, and worked with the defensive ends from 2013-16. Prior to that, he spent two years as the defensive graduate assistant coach and two years as a quality control coach.
In his first year as the coordinator, his defensive unit ranked No. 3 in the Big 12 in scoring defense (25.4 points per game) and No. 4 in total defense (403.4 yards per game). Two of the Wildcats’ top three tacklers in 2018 were linebackers, as Da’Quan Patton led the team with 70 stops, and Justin Hughes – who didn’t start playing on a full-time basis until the fifth game of the season – finished third with 56.
In 2017, Seiler quickly produced a pair of All-Big 12 linebackers in Jayd Kirby and Trent Tanking. Each ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in tackles, with Kirby’s total including 76 unassisted tackles to rank No. 6 in school history and No. 12 in the nation.
The Wildcat defense ranked No. 4 in the Big 12 in scoring defense (25.2 points per game) and No. 3 in rushing defense (117.7 yards per game), the latter ranking No. 13 in the nation and No. 10 in school history. The Wildcats also tied for second in the league in turnover margin at plus 10 thanks to 23 takeaways, a mark that ranked No. 4 in the league.
‘With Seiler coaching the defensive ends, Jordan Willis and Ryan Mueller tied the single-season sack records during their respective All-America seasons.
Willis earned All-America Second-Team honors from The Sporting News and Pro Football Focus, finishing with 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2016. Willis also became the first Wildcat defensive lineman to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and was the league’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Willis led the Big 12 and tied for No. 12 nationally in sacks, while he was No. 2 in the league and No. 21 nationally in tackles for loss. Willis finished his career ranked No. 3 in school history and tied for No. 7 in Big 12 history with 26 career sacks. Willis tallied 40.5 career tackles for loss, ranking No. 9 in school history, becoming the first Wildcat to enter the list since 2001.
Willis was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mueller, a former walk-on, earned two straight All-Big 12 First-Team honors as a junior and senior, while he was the 2013 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and an All-America Second-Team honoree. He was a two-time candidate for the Ted Hendricks Award, and, in 2014, he was a candidate for the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi awards.
Mueller tied the school record with 11.5 sacks in 2013, a mark that ranked No. 8 nationally, and finished
his career tied for fifth in school history with 20.5.
Playing alongside Willis in 2016, redshirt freshman Reggie Walker earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year accolades after totaling a league-freshman-best 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also earned multiple Freshman All-America honors, including one from the Football Writers Association of America as he finished fourth nationally in sacks among freshmen.
In 2016, the Wildcats led the Big 12 in rushing defense (No. 11 nationally), scoring defense (No. 25 nationally) and total defense, the first Big 12 team to lead the conference in all three categories since 2008.
A letterman at Kansas State from 2004-06, Seiler returned to his alma mater in 2009 as a defensive quality control assistant for two years. He then spent two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant coach where he assisted with the secondary and ran the scout team offense. Before getting into coaching, he spent two years working as a structural engineer at Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas.
Prior to the 2003 season, Seiler transferred to Kansas State from Oklahoma State where he was a member of the Cowboys’ 2003 National Championship wrestling team. The Goddard, Kansas, product earned First Team Academic All-Big 12 honors during his final three years in Manhattan while becoming one of the biggest contributors on defense.
As a senior in 2006, Seiler was one of the team captains and was named the Kansas State Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He made 21 tackles that season, including four sacks, helping lead the Wildcats to an appearance in the 2006 Texas Bowl.
During an 11-game 2005 season, he had a career-best 34 tackles, including a season-high seven against Texas A&M. That season, Seiler was honored with the program’s Nancy Bennett Award, representing fight, spirit and a positive nature. He played in all 11 games in 2004 as a sophomore, earning the Kansas State Purple Pride Award as the walk-on who displayed the most quality play, leadership and work ethic.
Seiler graduated from Kansas State in 2007 with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wichita State.
He, and his wife, Inge, have two daughters, Elle and Brynn.
With Seiler’s confirmation, only official word on Xavier Dye, late of Clemson, is pending to complete Brown’s ten-man on-field assistant staff.