Dawn Seiler has been selected to become the new athletic director at Aberdeen Central the school announced Monday. She will replace current AD Gene Brownell who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“Obviously, it was a tough decision to make because I really like the job that I’m in,” said Seiler, who is the state’s all-time winningest girls’ basketball coach. “Gene Brownell has worked extremely hard to get everything in place for the next person to be successful. He’s built very strong programs. He’s been tireless in his efforts.”
Seiler, who coached for 13 years at McIntosh prior to coaching for the past 23 years at Central, said she made a last-minute decision to apply for the position.
“It’s a new challenge,” she said. “At this stage of my life I felt like I was ready for a new challenge.”
Seiler is currently an assistant principal at Central. Having experience in both athletics and administration should help to make the transition a smooth one.
“I’ve been fortunate to be involved in athletics and then I’ve also been in the administrative office,” she said. “Those two kind of go hand in hand for this position, because you have to wear both of those hats.”
In addition to serving as Central AD, Brownell has also been the director for State B boys’ basketball tournament at Wachs Arena. Those duties will now move over to Seiler following this season.
“The AD in those towns that host run the tournament through the activities association,” Seiler said. “So the duties would be the same as Gene has done.”
Seiler said that Brownell, a former coach at Central, has been an outstanding leader and example for the coaching staff at the school.
“He’s taught all of us how to lead. He’s done that through example and he’s done that through coaching us,” Seiler said. “He left the track and field, and cross-country world. He didn’t coach kids anymore, he coached coaches. He was still a coach and he always had that mindset all the time.”
Seiler, who will take over the AD reigns in July, said Brownell set the bar high for the Central athletic program.
“He expected you to be at your best. He expected you to always be prepared,” Seiler said. “Whatever you needed he would try to get you that, because he wanted to put you in the best possible position.”
The Aberdeen Central girls’ basketball team will host Spearfish on Friday night at Golden Eagles Arena with a berth to the Class AA state tournament on the line. Seiler said that is where her focus is right now.
“That’s priority number one for me,” Seiler said. “I’m going to think about games now.”
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