Manning Names Seals to Tulsa Basketball Staff

RETURNING HOME: Tulsa basketball legend Shea Seals is returning to his alma mater as the newly formed position of Director of Player Development/Team Manager for basketball. Most recently Seals served as head basketball coach at Booker T. Washington High School.

Former Golden Hurricane All-American Shea Seals has been named Director of Player Development/Team Manager for basketball at The University of Tulsa, first-year Head Coach Danny Manning announced recently.

Seals, 36, has spent the last eight years coaching high school basketball in the city of Tulsa, compiling an overall 130-45 record in seven years as a head coach. He has been the head basketball coach the last five seasons at Booker T. Washington High School. In his tenure, Seals’ teams have posted a 102-22 record, won state championships in 2010 and 2011, finished as the state runner-up in 2008 and a state semifinalist in 2009. In 2011, the Hornets compiled a 21-0 record en route to their second consecutive state championship, while earning a final high school national ranking of No. 22.

Previously, Seals coached for three seasons at his alma mater, Tulsa McLain High School. He spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach and took over as head coach a year later. Seals’ proceeded to lead McLain High School to a two-year mark of 28-23 and a state quarterfinals appearance in 2006.

“The opportunity to return to The University of Tulsa is a dream come true. I began this journey in Tulsa and always wanted to help the place where I’ve come from, so being able to continue to be a part of the Golden Hurricane basketball program means a great deal to me. I bleed blue and gold. It’s an honor to be back and be a part of this team,” says Seals.

“I’m very grateful to Danny. His situation and my situation are kind of similar in terms of how he started coaching and how I’m getting the opportunity to begin on the college level,” added Seals. “I had always hoped that if I could get the chance to get into college coaching that it would be up to me to make the most of it. Danny was a great player at KU and after his career had a chance to return to KU and teach the younger guys, and that’s how I envisioned my opportunity. Coming back to the place where it all started for me and being able to help the younger guys, not only with understanding the game of basketball, but helping them make the best of their college experience, is special to me.”

“Shea gives us a connection to the community, the university, our basketball lettermen and alumni. I believe the appointment of Shea demonstrates the respect we have for the tradition of The University of Tulsa, especially the basketball program. There have been so many talented individuals who have contributed to the tremendous tradition and history of the Tulsa basketball program. Shea definitely had a lot to do with that and we’re so very fortunate that he’s joining our staff. We look forward to working with him for many great years ahead,” says Manning.

“The director of player development/team manager is a position that is very important to our program. It will incorporate life-skills opportunities, reaching out to the community and being a mentor to our basketball student-athletes. In addition, this position gives Shea an opportunity to see the day-to-day operations and the ins-and-outs of what goes into running a college basketball program,” added Manning.

We’re excited to have Shea and his family join our basketball family. Shea is a great fit for this position because of his ties to the community as well as his contributions to The University of Tulsa,” says Manning. “We want to be able to make an impact in our community and Shea brings all of those things to the table and much more. He has touched a lot of people in our community and we’re going to definitely lean on him to help us reach out to the city of Tulsa.”

Before entering the coaching profession, Seals spent seven years in professional basketball. He began his career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997-98 before suffering an injury in the summer after his rookie season. He played six years in Europe and Asia and one season in the .

“I’m grateful to Tulsa Public Schools and Coach (Luther) Pegues for the opportunity and the faith they placed in me to coach at my alma mater,” said Seals. “Not all the time when you stop playing the game of basketball you can automatically jump into the coaching profession. My time at McLain High School and Booker T. Washington High School was immeasurable because it gave me an opportunity to grow as a coach. I appreciate the support of Superintendent (Keith) Ballard and the administrations at both Booker T. Washington and McLain High Schools.”

As a prep star, Seals averaged 24.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and was named the 1993 Oklahoma High School Player of the Year as a senior at McLain High School.
At TU, Seals made an immediate impact on the basketball court by totaling 33 points, six steals, five assists, five rebounds and set a school record with seven made three-pointers in his first collegiate game.

As a freshman, Seals was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference’s Most Outstanding Freshman and Newcomer of the Year and also earned Freshman All-America accolades by Basketball Times and Basketball Weekly. He scored 16.8 points and grabbed 6.5 rebounds as a true freshman. From there, Seals went on to become the school’s all-time scoring leader with 2,228 points, a mark that still stands today, and also completed his career ranked among the top-5 on the Tulsa charts for rebounds with 777, assists with 388 and steals with 222.

During his TU career, Seals was on Tulsa teams that compiled an overall 93-34 record, made four consecutive Tournament appearances, including two trips to the “Sweet Sixteen”, won two regular season championships and one Tournament title. In 1994, Seals led Tulsa to the school’s first-ever “Sweet Sixteen” in 1994 with wins over and Oklahoma State and duplicated that feat a year later with victories against Illinois and Old Dominion.

Seals earned first-team all-conference honors in his final three seasons, twice in the and as a senior in the Western Athletic Conference. He went on to receive third-team Associated Press All-America merits as a senior and had his No. 21 jersey retired in the final home game of the 1996-97 campaign.

Seals was inducted into The University of Tulsa’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2011.

Seals and his wife, Rosa, have four children: sons Jeval, Shea Ari, Shemar and daughter Viola.

Updated 05-21-2012

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