1967-71: University of Oregon assistant
In 1967, George and Linda Seifert were headed from Iowa back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where George had accepted a sales job. But on the way, Seifert heard about an opening at Oregon, so he pulled over and gave new coach Jerry Frei a call.
"One of the first calls I got was from George," Frei confirmed. "He pulled up in front of our house driving a U-Haul trailer."
At Oregon, Seifert started out as the freshman coach on what may have been "the most talented coaching staff ever in college football," according to star wide receiver Ahmad Rashad (then named Bobby Moore).
Along with Seifert, Oregon assistants included future college head coaching greats John Robinson and Bruce Snyder.
Another assistant was John Marshall, who followed Seifert as freshman coach when Seifert moved up to coach the varsity's defensive backs in 1969. Twenty years later, Marshall joined Seifert's staff at San Francisco, and now he's Seifert's defensive cordinator in Carolina.
Leading this crop of coaches was Jerry Frei. "A lot of the credit for our relative success goes back to ... Frei," Rashad wrote. "He was a tolerant, kind, compassionate individual."
The Oregon experience was "a unique situation," Seifert said. "It was my first full-time job, so to speak, at a major college. We stayed five years, had our first child. We were growing as a family. And I was growing as a coach."
Delton Lewis, one of Seifert's players on the Oregon freshman squad, said, "He taught me how to play on the next level. He really tested your character, but he knows how to win. He was tough but fair and a hell of a man."
Seifert helped the Oregon team as a recruiter, too, helping to bring quarterbacks Dan Fouts, Norv Turner and June Jones to the Ducks.
Seifert's departure from Oregon is described in the book "Oregon Ducks Football: 100 years of Glory 1894-1995" like this:
"Dissatisfaction with Frei -- however unfair -- was boiling over among a few prominent boosters. ... (The new athletic director) suggested Frei get rid of his remaining assistants. One of them was George Seifert. ... Frei refused, annoucing his resignation on Jan. 19, 1972."