James Merlin “Jim” Seidule

Mr. Seidule served as a respected football and track and field coach from 1957 to 1974, becoming The High School’s athletic director in 1968.

His teams won state track and field titles three years in a row on two separate occasions, 1960-62 and 1969-71. His 1969 undefeated track and field team was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Legend has it that one year his team’s bus broke down on the way to a track and field meet in Charlottesville. Mr. Seidule took the jumpers and pole-vaulters with him to the meet, while the rest of the team hitchhiked or found a ride. Despite their unconventional travel means, the team won the meet!

He is regarded in the 1960 edition of Whispers as “Mr. Seidule, the untiring disciplinarian, [who] guided the team to success with his strict training and encouraging support.”

Mr. Seidule is also remembered for coaching the varsity football team to victory in a game where the team had twenty- two of thirty-nine players suspended for drinking. He used that incident to teach his players about more than football. As David Daugherty ’64 wrote in EHS News at the time, “It really was more than a game. There were many important principles that were learned by many people – things like honor, trust, fidelity.”

He is the only coach of an EHS team to win a Virginia Prep League Football title (1971).

“Jim Seidule believed in me. Under him, I accomplished things I didn’t believe were possible,” says Bill Flowers ’67. “Those accomplishments have provided me strength to never give up. I watched my brother George Flowers ’61, who he also coached, battle cancer to the end. He never gave up, and I am sure he too got much of that strength from Jim. When he learned of my brother’s illness, he drove to Richmond to be with him. He was at his funeral. I am proud to have been on the Hall of 
Fame Selection Committee that is now recognizing Jim for all that he did for so many others.”