Tell us when you stop believing this silly fairy tale.
A young man gets hired by a college as a head coach over 49 other candidates, despite having no collegiate coaching experience. He goes on to become that school's most successful coach in that sport. At the same time, he also takes the reins of another program at the University -- again, did we mention he had no college coaching experience when he arrived? -- and when he's done with that sport he is not only the program's all-time leader in wins, but tops among his conference brethren as well.
That's no fairy tale. That's Bob Seddon: Head soccer coach from 1968-86, head baseball coach from 1972-2005.
Seddon came to Penn as the head soccer coach from Hackensack (N.J.) High School in 1968, taking over for the legendary Charley Scott. During his 19-year tenure, Seddon guided the Quakers to three Ivy League championships, including back-to-back undefeated seasons in 1971-72; six NCAA Tournament appearances, including three years when the Quakers won twice to advance to the quarterfinal round; and a 163-84-30 record. These were the halcyon days of Penn soccer, when crowds of more than 10,000 would show up at Franklin Field to watch the Quakers' 11. Seddon's win total on the pitch is second all-time at the school, behind only Patrick Stewart who won 250 games as the program's first coach from 1905-43, and his .643 win percentage tops all.
Under Seddon's tutelage, Penn had two first-team All-Americans, Stan Startzell in 1970 and Steve Baumann in 1973. They remain the Quakers' most recent such honorees. Ten other players received All-America recognition of some level during Seddon's career. In addition, 20 players earned a total of 24 first-team All-Ivy honors.
Seddon added head baseball coaching duties to his plate in time for the 1972 season, and "9" (his nickname) was in the dugout for 34 seasons. During that time he gained 634 wins, more than any other Ivy League baseball coach in history, including 301 that came in Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League or Ivy League play (the EIBL preceded the Ivy League as a baseball conference, and featured the eight Ivy schools plus Army and Navy). Penn had 14 seasons with 20 or more wins including six campaigns with 25 or more wins. The 1989 season was the high-water mark, as the Quakers went 29-11 overall and won the second of what would be three straight EIBL titles. Penn also won the EIBL crown in 1975, and after the Ivy League split into divisional play in 1993 the Red and Blue finished at or tied for the Gehrig Division lead four straight years, from 1994-97.
Seddon led five baseball squads into NCAA play, had three players earn EIBL/Ivy League Player of the Year, and had three others named EIBL/Ivy League Pitcher of the Year. Five different players won the Blair Bat trophy as the EIBL/Ivy batting champion.