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Coaches’ Corner: Hanover’s Chris Seibel Uses Past to Influence Future Generations

  • Chris Seibel is Hanover High's girls lacrosse coach and a former standout player at Springfield (Mass.) College. He led the Marauders to the 2016 NHIAA Division II state title. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Chris Seibel. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Chris Seibel, Hanover High's girls lacrosse coach, runs an indoor practice on March 25, 2017. Seibel is a Brookline, Mass., native who serves in Hanover High's guidance department as a clinical mental health and drug and alcohol counselor. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Chris Seibel addresses his Hanover High girls lacrosse team during halftime of an April 17, 2017, home game. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Valley News will profile a local high school coach each week for the next two months. It’s a chance to better know some of the people guiding the area’s student-athletes. Today, we meet sixth-year Hanover girls lacrosse coach Chris Seibel, who guided the Marauders to the 2016 NHIAA Division II state title.

Big Brood: Seibel is the fourth of five children and the third boy of Jim, a paper and party goods salesman, and Mary Rose, who met as first lieutenants at Fort Devens during the Korean War. Although Chris’ father was an only child, his mother had seven siblings and he has 66 cousins. More than 50 lived within 5 miles of his childhood house in Brookline, Mass.

Marshfield Mayhem: Seibel’s parents, along with seven or eight uncles and their children, would often spend the summer on the same dead-end street in Marshfield, Mass. “It was a circus, and the rule was to get out of the house and don’t bug your parents, because they don’t want to negotiate over who took whose bike,” Seibel said. “There were a lot of fireworks and mischief and games, and if you got upset and said you weren’t going to play anymore, there were 30 more kids waiting to take your place.”

School Daze: The Seibel kids all went to Brookline High, which had roughly 2,500 students at the time. Chris graduated in 1984, playing football, basketball and lacrosse. He was unaware of the latter sport until an older brother came home with a stick, but he became a Boston-area all star by his junior year. “I was a boy’s boy and I didn’t work very hard at academics, and I just wanted to hang out with my friends,” Seibel said.

Adios: “I was an athletic kid, and people wanted me on the field more than they wanted to discipline me,” said Seibel, who earned All-New England honors as a Springfield (Mass.) College sophomore attackman. “Freshman year, I got suspended for a game. Sophomore year, I got suspended for a game. My senior year, I broke training rules and we played a top team and the coach, Keith Bugbee, didn’t put me in the game and we lost by a goal. When we got home, he kicked me off the team.”

In Retrospect: “I was pigheaded, and I saw (Bugbee) as a jerk. But I clearly had a big problem and needed to straighten my life out. I had to work twice as hard as a young adult, because I didn’t listen to advice from older people.”

Understanding: Fifteen years later, Seibel stumbled across Bugbee. “I said, ‘Coach, you saved my life’. Part of the catalyst for my getting sober was him setting a hard limit. His wife told me it was the hardest thing he’d had to do in his career. He was 29, and I was his first recruit at Springfield. Since that day, I’ve spoken to his teams about substance abuse and dating violence.”

Crucial Toil: Seibel, who works in Hanover High’s guidance department as a student assistance counselor, is licensed as a clinical mental health counselor and a drug and alcohol counselor. He meets with students and their families and makes referrals to other community resources.

Helping Hand: “I fell in love with the counseling field because I could identify with kids making bad choices and how those have an accumulating affect. You may not end up ruining your life, but you’ll end up limiting your options.”

Putting Down Roots: After working with middle school and high school students in Saugus, Mass., Seibel and his wife, Jane, were inspired to “move to the country” by the 2001 terrorist attacks. The family, which had been living in Pelham, N.H., relocated to the Upper Valley, where Jane had spent time as a teenager. Chris began working at West Central Behavioral Health and Stevens High in Claremont before joining Hanover High in 2006.

Girls on the Run: After coaching the Marauders JV boys lacrosse team, Seibel moved down to the girls junior high ranks so he could coach his oldest daughter, Hannah. He moved to the girls varsity in 2013 and is 88-31. He has also coached his younger daughters, Molly and Jessica. Hannah recently graduated from Georgetown University, where she played for the Hoyas. Jessica is headed to play at Tufts, and Molly is a rising Hanover junior.

Family Ties: Seibel runs and hikes, and each summer his family gets together with those of his siblings. “We’re still that rowdy clan from Brookline, and it’s great to see our kids have the same type of connection,” he said.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.