1977-79: Stanford University assistant
After two seasons as the head coach at Cornell University, George Seifert returned to Stanford in 1977 as defensive backs coach -- joining first-year head coach Bill Walsh's staff.
Highly respected as a teacher, football technician and recruiter, Seifert continued working his magic. Stanford's pass defense was ranked second in the Pacific 10 in 1978 and '79, marking a total of six times Seifert had coached a league unit to a top-three spot in pass defense:
1970 Oregon -- 1st in Pac-8
During this second tour of duty with Stanford, Seifert continued to prove his value as an assistant, but he also learned valuable lessons from Walsh about being a head coach.
Walsh's focus was always on football. "He had the ability to just do the things you had to do to win games. That's probably what I learned from him more than any other thing," Seifert has said. "He didn't get involved in administrative things. He put together a staff, a team and a system that would go out and win."
In 1979, Walsh left Stanford and took that expertise to the San Francisco49ers.
"It was one of the most crushing moments in my life," Seifert said. "I stayed at Stanford for a year and I was miserable the whole time. It was then that I decided I would do everything I could to get into professional football."
Seifert remained as defensive backs coach during Rod Dowhower's lone year as Stanford's head coach. In 1980, both men went to the NFL: Dowhower to the Broncos, Seifert rejoining Walsh with the 49ers.