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Bob Seaman, who guided Wichita State's football program through its most difficult period, died Monday at 86.
Seaman moved from offensive coordinator to head coach in 1970 after the plane crash in Colorado that killed head coach Ben Wilson and 30 others, including 14 members of the team.
"He meant so much to our 1970 football team," said John Potts. "He stayed with us even though he could have moved on. His love and commitment to the 1970 team ran very deep and true. He mentored and led us through those tragic days and months following the crash. He is the reason so many of us have led successful lives."
Seaman, 38 at the time, was named head coach and coached the Shockers in their first game after the crash, 22 days later at Arkansas.
"I think about the efforts of everybody within the university and everybody within the football team," Seaman told The Wichita Eagle in 2015. "Their efforts and what they did to come back and play in such a short amount was just amazing."
Seaman coached three more full seasons and went 13-26. His 6-5 record in 1972 representing Wichita State's lone winning season from 1964-1982.
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"His strength helped carry this university through one of the most difficult periods in our history," Wichita State president John Bardo said. "He remains an inspiration to all of us. The love expressed by those who played for him during those most trying times will stand as one of the greatest legacies in college athletics. He not only put a team on the field, he helped mend lives and bring meaning back to young people who had lost more than they could ever have imagined. We will think of him every time we commemorate the fallen of 1970."
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Seaman, a native of Ohio, came to Wichita State in 1969 to join Wilson's staff. He also coached at Ohio high schools and at Emporia State from 1979-82.
Memorial contributions may be sent to
Hospice of Dayton
, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, OH 45420. Online condolences and other remembrances may be sent to the family at
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