The Tulsa basketball team’s new Assistant Coach Shea Seals and Director of Player Development Kim English have digested a lot in their first year.
"There's no set hours; there's work and then more work," explained Seals.
English says preparation is huge and that's the part he sees himself working on the most.
But for all the hours of practice and game prep, it's the transition from playing that's been tough at times. English had a short stint in the NBA with Detroit.
"It's difficult sometimes; it's easier some other times,” said English. “You quickly learn that your impact on the game is quite different. The way you inspire is different in the NBA. It's a lot more chill from coaches on the bench. I try to be less emotional because guys see it as negative or panic."
Seals coached with success in high school, winning a state championship with Booker T. Washington. But he also had a brief spell professionally with the Lakers.
As an assistant coach, he's taken a style that fits his experience from all levels into one.
"You have to find what best suits your personnel,” Seals stated. “As a player, I felt I could do it all. It gets tough because we see things on the bench that our guys just don't see yet. We're teaching them basketball and it helps relationships with our players”
Head Coach Frank Haith is pleased with Seals and English’s production on the bench, because, well, he hired them to do their jobs. But there’s one thing that English did in the NBA that Tulsa has used that's turned out to be one of the best personnel moves of the season.
“We pretty much put ourselves in the same mold as Pat Birt. Kim English was a guard playing a four position," explained Seals.
"Even when he (Pat Birt) was playing he was sending me scouting reports about the team we're playing,” said Haith. “[It] proved to me he wanted to do this."
Haith believes both have bright futures in the coaching business. For now, both say they're enjoying the opportunity to still be part of the game.
"If you love the game and you want to know more about it, you don't look at it as work," said Seals.