116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Seth Wing’s suspicion was correct.
He had a hunch he would be back at Winona State someday when he left for Cornell College more than a decade ago.
“I didn’t change my cell phone number,” Wing said. “It’s still a Winona number because in my head, I was coming back. This was the job. It meant the world to me.”
After 11 seasons leading the Rams baseball program, while also serving as Director of Athletics since 2020, Wing returned to his alma mater to assume his dream job. He was named Winona State’s head baseball coach, becoming just the third to hold that position since 1966.
Wing officially started his tenure with the NCAA Division II program July 18. He was an assistant from his graduation in 2003 to 2011, helping the Warriors to regional appearances in 2007 and 2010 and a national runner-up finish in his last season.
“The success we had while I was here as an assistant coach was through the roof,” Wing said. “They went to regional again in 2012 and haven’t come close since. It has made me wonder, if I were to run this program, what the potential would be.”
Wing splits his week between Winona and his home in Lisbon until the move is complete in mid-August. He was hesitant until the flood of messages from Winona State alumni, encouraging him to apply.
The dilemma consisted of his love of coaching and his progress as an administrator. The opportunity was too good to pass.
“I started to get texts and emails frequently that got my blood flowing in a different direction,” Wing said. “I started to think a lot about it. I had a decision to make. Do I want to keep coaching baseball or do I want to be an athletic director?
“At the end of the day, my heart told me I wanted to coach baseball longer and that was the final decision. If I was going to coach, this is where I needed to be.”
Wing said he has always liked Winona’s atmosphere and the surrounding area. The move also has a personal benefit to Wing, his wife, April, and their children, August and Olive. Winona is almost equidistant to Wing’s family in Maquoketa and his in-laws in Minneapolis.
“It’s almost right smack dab in the middle,” Wing said. “From a family standpoint, it’s perfect. (My wife) likes it. She’s excited.”
The former Maquoketa prep was a dual-sport athlete at Winona, playing football and baseball from 1999-2003. He also cut his college coaching teeth with the baseball program, ascending to associate head coach from 2009-11.
Wing also served as recruiting coordinator. He attracted former Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep and current Linn-Mar Coach Kyle Rodenkirk to Winona State. He even sent his former J-Hawk player Lucas Larson to play for Wing at Cornell.
Rodenkirk said he looks forward to Wing’s impact as the Warriors’ skipper.
“Coach Wing brings so much to a baseball program,” Rodenkirk said. “He will recruit athletes that are not only good baseball players but good people. He recruits the entire family. He creates a culture in which you play the game hard and you want to win for him, but it is a fun atmosphere as he always reminds the players it’s a game so have fun with what you do. His positive energy is contagious and that’s why his teams have success.”
Wing has left a huge impression at Cornell. He is the career leader with 176 victories, leading the Rams to winning conference records in six of the last seven seasons.
In 2019, he led Cornell to the Midwest Conference Tournament title and the program’s first NCAA regional berth.
“It was pretty cool,” Wing said. “Just being the first time to do something. I think it was one of the first sports at Cornell and it had never won a conference championship.”
Wing admitted that demands as AD through the pandemic and Ash Park renovations prevented him from coaching and developing players as much as the past. He said he felt more like a manager than a coach.
Wing witnessed the upgrades to the football stadium, baseball and softball facilities and Small Multi-Sport Center. He recalled his hands-on involvement with the baseball field, its new press box and building the dugouts with former Mount Vernon Coach Jeremy Elliott and a retired Mason.
He literally built Cornell into a contender with other area college programs.
“The sweat equity we put in that place just made it all,” Wing said. “The sheer trust the guys shows coming to Cornell my first couple years. I owe them everything. These guys took a chance on me, being a first-year head coach at a three-win program the year before, and not knowing anything about me except what I told them in the recruiting process.
“They are special. I’ve told them they are a huge reason why I’ve gotten these opportunities.”