In a somewhat odd development on Friday night, Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes has retired from coaching. As reported Friday night by GoPowercat.com of 247 Sports, Hayes decided to retire after six years on the job under head coach Bill Snyder. The Wichita Eagle has also confirmed the news of the retirement.
As noted by the report from the original report, Hayes had intended to step into retirement at the end of the 2017 season. That outlook supposedly changed with Hayes opting to stick around for at least one more season. It is suspected Hayes was looking to retire at the same time Snyder may have moved on from being the head coach of the Wildcats, but Kansas State announced earlier this month Snyder will return for the 2018 season.
The reason the timing comes off as odd is because Kansas State just spent some time this week adding new members to the coaching staff, and we are smack dab in the middle of two signing days on the recruiting calendar, with the second national signing day coming up in two weeks. Earlier this week, Kansas State promoted Andre Coleman to the role of offensive coordinator and two other staff members received a promotion to work around some offseason coaching turnover on the assistant coaching staff. Both of those adjustments were on the offensive coaching side of the staff. The new departure of Hayes from the staff leaves Snyder with some more tinkering to do on the defensive side of the staff with signing day looming.
It is never too late for Kansas State to pull a coach from outside the program to fill such a role on the staff, but it may not be a surprise to see Kansas State stay in-house to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Blake Seiler has been assigned the role of assistant defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Wildcats and may be the most likely option to take on the full-time role as defensive coordinator if Kansas State sticks to his own staff to find a replacement. And after replacing his offensive coordinator with an in-house promotion, that would certainly seem to be a likely scenario for the defensive coordinator vacancy now as well. Seiler is a former defensive end for Kansas State who played for Snyder. Seiler has been on the coaching staff for nine seasons, five as a full-time assistant coach.