South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has stood down from his role with the Queensland Origin team to focus on getting the Rabbitohs back into the Telstra Premiership finals.
Seibold has spent the last two years as Kevin Walters' assistant after having coached the Emerging Maroons squads for four years previous to that.
"I will really, really miss Origin because Kev was so good delegating so much to me. It was also a really good group of players and staff," Seibold told NRL.com.
"I just think it's not fair on the Rabbitohs for me to go and do that, and not fair on the Origin team either for me to leave camp to come back for games. That would be too selfish.
"I just had to make that tough decision and Kev understood. It is time consuming, Origin … even at the assistant coach level."
With Seibold at the helm, Souths not only have their star players on the field, they have a smart, educational mind off it.
Their new coach has a Bachelor of Teaching – completed while he was playing at the Brisbane Broncos – and a Masters of Education, which he finished externally with the University of Southern Queensland while playing for Hull-Kingston Rovers in England's Super League.
After he finished his playing career, the Toowoomba-based USQ offered him a job.
"So I went and lectured there (Toowoomba) for about 14 months in the faculty of education," Seibold said.
"I've got a real growth mindset to doing better. Since I did the Masters, over the years I've done a diploma in management, a certificate IV in training and education.
"I try to make time to study as I find it a really good distraction away from footy. It's a good way to continue to grow."
Climbing up the educational tree doesn't get much better than doing a leadership course at Harvard, an academic powerhouse in the United States. Seibold did most of the course online but had to complete four days of face-to-face learning with his lecturers to earn his certificate.
"It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time," the 43-year-old said.
And he wasn't alone in the Australian football ranks of those wanting to stretch their minds a little more.
"There were two assistants from the Western Bulldogs AFL club in the class next door to me," he said referring to forwards coach Ashley Hansen and development coach Jamie Maddocks.
"So I had dinner with them for a couple of nights… great people."
Pictured: Seibold and Eagles List Manager Ben Rogers. Credit: Philadelphia Eagles.
Even then, the notebook and pencil weren't stowed away. After his time at Harvard, Seibold spent a full day with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and another day with the NFL's New York Giants. It was all topped off with getting to sit on the Philadelphia Eagles bench for part of a game.
"That was unreal, pretty amazing," Seibold said of his finale to a three-week study tour.
The travel continues for Seibold and the Rabbitohs as their first game of the 2018 NRL season is facing the Warriors in Perth on March 10.