BELLEVILLE — After five successful years of leading one of the top girls basketball programs in the metro-east, Andrea Seipp has resigned her head coaching position at Belleville East.
Citing the desire to spend more time at home with twin sons Kannon and Keegan, Seipp's decided to step down came midway through the season but she waited to tell her team until after it was eliminated from the Class 4A playoffs.
"It was something I thought about doing after last season and then about midway through this year I knew this was going to be it,'' Seipp said. "The twins are at the age where they are doing more things and I don't want to miss any of it. They'll be going to kindergarten next year.
"We talked about this several times as a family and while the boys loved being around the team, each time we would ask them if they wanted mom to be around more, the answer was yes. That was it for me.''
An Okawville graduate, Seipp, 35, worked as an assistant under Keith Padgett for three years before taking over as head coach in the 2009-10 season.
Although somewhat in the background of perennial state power Edwardsville and city rival Belleville West during her tenure, Seipp kept the Lancers among the top teams in the Southwestern Conference.
East finished 14-13 this past season, losing to East St. Louis in the Class 4A regional tournament semifinals.
"This was a very enjoyable season because this group of kids were very close and fun to be around. I felt we got a lot out of this team in terms of playing to its potential,'' Seipp said. "Then to have three former Lancers players on the coaching staff and also Todd (Blomberg) helping out as an assistant, made this a good year. We worked hard but we also had a lot of fun.''
Seipp will now have more time to be a mom, as well as a teacher. Seipp will remain as a history teacher at Belleville East.
Her husband, Scott Seipp, is an assistant baseball coach at O'Fallon High School.
"Somebody in the social studies department at East joked that now I'll realize that we actually get a two-week break at Christmas. We've always been practicing and playing in a holiday tournament during that time,'' Seipp said. "I'm not going to be coaching, but I will be a fan.''
Seipp said one of the most difficult parts of resigning was telling her underclassmen that she would not be returning for next season.
"That was tough. But the players were understanding and the parents I've spoken with have also been very supportive,'' Seipp said. "I always tell my players that playing basketball is a privilege. There are more important things in life, like family and school.''
Seipp hinted that she may like to coach again in the future.
"Maybe when the boys get a little older and if the right situation comes up,'' Seipp said. "I've been very fortunate to work with an excellent and supportive administration, a great coaching staff and many great kids.''
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org