I thought he summed it up nicely with the phrase: "With Joe as a freestyle coach, it was never about himself. It was all about helping athletes."
Seay always struck me as a guy who made things happen at all levels because he was so good at connecting with athletes and convincing them that they could win under him, regardless of the circumstances.
"Seay, 42, a former national 149.5-pound champ from Wellington, Kans., started the school's wrestling program in 1972 with such limited funds that his team had to train in a science lab and his wife had to do all the wrestlers' laundry. Even now the school lacks a weight room and has a pitifully tiny wrestling room and so few wrestling scholarships that Seay, an exceptional coach, has to recruit athletes impoverished enough to qualify for general scholarships, which is what Gonzales had. "The school thinks they could throw us out onto the grass and we'd still win," says 158-pound senior Perry Shea, who's one of the four Division II champions on this year's team. "They're probably right." Cal State Bakersfield has won six of the last seven Division II team titles and finished in the top 10 of Division I for five years in a row."
In his book Foxcatcher, Mark Schultz notes that after things didn't work out for him and Dave at Oklahoma State and UCLA, they considered wrestling for Seay at CSB:
"...on the way [to Oklahoma], we stopped at California State Bakersfield, where a friend of ours, Joe Seay, was the coach. Joe tried to talk us into ending our trip and wrestling for him. Joe was building one of the best teams in the country and his offer was enticing, but the wrestling room was the smallest I had seen, with room for only one mat. I could not imagine how an entire team trained in there."
It was unfortunate how things ended for him at Oklahoma State, for a man who loved the sport as much as anyone out there. I think that the rivalry between OSU and Iowa back in the 80s and 90s was as good as it was largely because of his efforts.