A lot of it seemed the same. Ed Greenman on the turf of the Harper Creek football field. Yelling out plays during the first week of high school football practice for the Beavers.
But one thing was different.
“Dennis Stansberry reminds me not to speak until I am spoken to,” Greenman said. “They say I can’t say anything until they ask. That’s been the standing joke.”
Like Stansberry, Greenman is now an assistant football coach for Harper Creek after nearly three decades of being the head coach for the Beaver football program. Greenman, still the Harper Creek Athletic Director, stepped down from his duties as the head coach of the Beavers after the 2014 season and was away from the sidelines all of last year. Feeling that was long enough, Greenman asked Harper Creek head coach Mike Seedorff if he could use some help and now the former head coach is back helping out as an assistant.
“I love it that he’s back our here. We were together for so long before he left, it’s nice to have the same faces back out here again,” said Seedorff, who was a longtime assistant coach under Greenman before he stepped down. “We know how each other is thinking. We are able to bounce some ideas off each other. All of us together out here make up a really nice staff.”
But the kidding continues for the longtime friends as they get used to their roles being reversed.
“We get on him when he starts thinking he’s the head coach still,” Seedorff said. “I tell him I can fire him since I’m the head coach and he’s the assistant, but then he can turn around and fire me because he’s the AD. So we laugh about that.”
Greenman is happy with his new role and ready to support Seedorff in anyway he can.
“I missed it a lot last year and I love that Mike has given me the opportunity to come back and help out,” Greenman said. “It was absolutely the right decision for me to no longer be the head coach, but coaching is coaching and it’s so much fun to be out here again.
“But Mike is obviously the face of the program now and he’s done a great job as our head coach. He’s the man in charge and I’m following his lead and he’s doing a great job as our leader.”
A lot of the quality work Seedorff has put into the program in the summer time in his second year as the head coach showed up in this first week of the season. The Beavers were able to hit the ground running as teams practiced with pads for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We had great participation all summer at conditioning and camps and I feel like we were ahead of the game more than we have been in past years,” Seedorff said. “Our entire offense is in, our entire defense is in, our special teams are clicking. As far as X’s and O’s, it’s about polishing that up now.
“That makes this week and what we do going forward all about competition and we have some talented kids who are competing for positions.”
Greenman not only has praise for what Seedorff is doing with the program, he has a knowing smile for the hard work he is putting in while the old head coach watches from the sidelines.
“I was sitting at home with my wife thinking about it last night,” Greenman said, not missing the extra hours a head coach has to put in when the season starts. “Mike is here from sun up to sun down. Everything falls on the head coach. There are so many things you have to do and Mike has stepped up to the plate and raised the bar from that standpoint.
“He is so all about Harper Creek and making it a great experience for our kids. I felt like I did that too, but it was time to pass the torch and I’m glad I have.”
Contact Bill Broderick (269) 966-0678 or email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @billbroderick