Seahawks insider Trent Kirchner renews friendship with former coach Brad Holinka
SEATTLE — Fulda coach and educator Brad Holinka has had a lasting impact in the lives of young men for many years, and one of those men now makes his living with the world champion Seattle Seahawks.
Trent Kirchner, a 1996 graduate of Fulda High School and the youngest of Ron and Diane Kirchner’s four sons, says will never forget the times Holinka — his high school football coach — was there for him.
“It started out as a relationship in which I was looking for him to respect me for my work ethic, but then it turned into a friendship,” Kirchner said Friday afternoon. “It has been a lifelong friendship now. I talk to him frequently and have a closer relationship with him than a lot of my classmates.”
Holinka was football coach for the Raiders from 1981-2006 and had high expectations for his players. Holinka also logged duty as the school’s head boys basketball coach.
Holinka is now an assistant football coach with the Minnesota West Bluejays.
“In the Fulda area, there were a lot of guys that would go to great lengths to satisfy Brad,” Kirchner said. “Whether it was lifting before or after school or going out for track, even though you didn’t really like it, you were doing it because Brad knew it was best.”
Kirchner went on to play college football at St. John’s University for a brief stint while studying there and is now the Director of Pro Scouting with the Seahawks. He oversees any trades or acquisitions the franchise considers.
Kirchner formerly spent time in similar positions with the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins. He was with the Panthers when they reached Super Bowl XXXVIII to face the New England Patriots.
Also heading up advanced scouting for Seattle, one of Kirchner’s primary assignments recently was to scout the Denver Broncos when they played the Patriots in the AFC title game. One of his colleagues, who was at the game with him, scouted the Patriots. Needless to say, Kirchner’s observations of the Broncos didn’t go unheeded.
To be a part of a world championship was truly something special, he said.
“It’s a phenomenal feeling knowing that we all put in all of the hours and late nights,” he said. “You never know how an acquisition is going to turn out until the acquisition has been here for a year or so. But, with that said, we’re on to draft meetings already, so it’s on to next year.”
Kirchner invited Holinka to the game in East Rutherford, N.J, and was able to celebrate with many friends and family after the win. It was a special thing, Kirchner said, for his former coach to be there — his coach he cares so much for.
“My parents went to the one when I was with Carolina and they were fortunate enough to watch our kids this time,” Kirchner said. ”I’ve always wanted to give back to Brad in some way for everything that he did.
“I asked him and I knew he’d say no, but he said he’d do it. I was elated,” Kirchner added. “Besides my family, he was the biggest driving force in creating my love for the game. It was great to be able to share it with him.”