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CEDAR FALLS — Former Northern Iowa men’s basketball All-America forward and video coordinator Seth Tuttle was promoted to assistant coach, UNI announced Tuesday.
Tuttle, who joined Coach Ben Jacobson’s staff in 2018 as a graduate assistant, spent the past two seasons as the Panthers video coordinator.
The Sheffield native’s promotion became possible after longtime UNI assistant Kyle Green left to become an assistant on T.J. Otzelberger’s staff at Iowa State in late March.
Jacobson, who’s entering his 16th season as the Panthers head coach, told The Gazette that Tuttle’s confidence, growth and respect from players played a major role in the promotion.
“Man, he’s ready for it. He’s going to do great because he’s so passionate about it and he brings such a great energy to everything he’s doing. In particular when he gets down around that (court),” Jacobson said. “The guys have got a great deal of respect for him. They look forward to seeing him, they look forward to working out with him.
“I think the best thing about Seth is he’s got a lot of confidence. He’s not afraid to share his opinion on things.”
Tuttle, who was highly complimentary of Green and current assistants P.J. Hogan and Erik Crawford, said his approach to prove himself every day put him in position to get a job he’s thought about since his playing days at UNI.
“I can teach young kids how to become men. I can teach young men how to play basketball,” Tuttle said. “I’m lucky and fortunate to have Coach (Jacobson), have the trust that I’ve gotten from Coach (Jacobson) and the staff. They gave me reins as a (graduate assistant) and as a video coordinator that usually you don’t get. It gave me a huge opportunity to showcase what I’m going to be capable of doing in the assistant coaching spot.
“I’m pretty blessed, I’m pretty lucky and I know that.”
In his new role, Tuttle will be tasked for the first time in his coaching career to recruit and he’s well aware of the big shoes he and his colleagues must fill after losing Green.
“Losing (Green), he was so connected,” Tuttle said. “I’m going to have to take on the challenge of getting my network growing and getting it to the point where people know who I am in the area, people know who I am in the region so that I can build those relationships with AAU coaches, with high school coaches so we don’t take a dip in recruiting.”
Jacobson described Tuttle’s ability to build relationships and sell the program as reasons he’s confident in his ability to build his network and recruit talented players.
Tuttle, meanwhile, said the Panthers feel they can win a championship after finishing last season 10-15 without 2019-20 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year AJ Green (hip injury).
“I think a big part of what it’s going to take for this upcoming year is going to be getting everybody to buy in to their role,” Tuttle said. “It’s going to be an interesting year with having three players come back using that extra year. Having two freshmen guards that played a lot of minutes and then have our best player come back into the mix.”