Out of professional football since 2011, former Northwest Missouri State offensive lineman Seth Wand considers his status as an ex-NFL player to be permanent.
Wand is currently employed at Ryan Transportation, a trucking company in Lenexa, Kan., and works in the IT department there. He lives in North Kansas City with his wife and two kids. They have another one on the way.
Wand, 33, is enjoying all aspects of his life right now, even though it doesn't include football and likely won't anymore.
"It's in the past," said Wand who played professionally from 2003-2011. "I haven't had any opportunities to do any more NFL stuff which I'm totally fine with. I did the UFL for a little bit and that was fun while it lasted. It was just time to move on. You kind of get that feeling that it's time to move on and go forward. That's where I'm at right now, so I'm trying to make the family bigger and just enjoy my job I have now."
After spending two seasons trying to resurrect his career in the UFL, Wand received a chance to return to the NFL two summers ago with the Oakland Raiders. Wand stayed with the team through training camp, but was released during the final round of cuts.
Already employed by RTS at the time, Wand says he knew right then and there his NFL career was over.
"I actually had a full-time job when I got a call from Oakland to go back there," said Wand. "I was like 'look, I got to go do this.' They were really cool and respectful about it. They let me go out to Oakland and give it another shot. I had my opportunity and it wasn't there."
Drafted by the Houston Texans with the 75th pick in 2003, Wand went on to play in 53 NFL games and start 18.
He was an every-week starter on the Texans offensive line during the 2004 season, but his career fizzled after that.
The Texans benched Wand in 2005 and released him before the 2006 season.
He signed with the Tennessee Titans and spent a portion of the 2006 season on their active roster, appearing in six games.
The Titans released Wand in 2007. He was then picked up by the Raiders in November of that year and stayed with the franchise up until the start of the 2009 season when he was released for the third time.
The 2008 season marked the final time Wand appeared in an NFL game.
He was drafted by the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League (UFL) in 2009 and played two seasons there. Wand did well enough to earn another shot with the Raiders, but didn't stick.
Page 2 of 3 - "Just being there is the best part," said Wand of his NFL experience. "The friends I've met. I've been able to travel and actually really be a part of that whole NFL environment. I can say I was actually there and really got to do it which is what everybody would like to do. Not everybody gets that opportunity. Obviously, I wanted to play more and play a little bit longer, but everything works out the way it does for a reason. I'm happy with all that."
Wand remains part of a select group of former Northwest players to both play in the NFL and get drafted.
Since 2003, the only others are Dave Tollefson and Xavier Omon.
A graduate of Springfield Catholic, Wand arrived at Northwest in 1998, the same year the school won the first of consecutive national titles. Wand was a redshirt freshman on the 1999 national championship team.
During his sophomore and senior years, Northwest won the MIAA title.
The 2002 team finished 12-1, losing its only game in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs to Northern Colorado.
Wand was a first team All-MIAA selection that year.
Since his departure, the Bearcats have remained one of the strongest programs in Division II football.
They've gone to the playoffs nine consecutive years and won at least eight games every year during that span.
"I don't think anything has changed and that's a good thing," said Wand. "From Mel (Tjeerdsma) leaving to everything that happened with the (Scott) Bostwick family and then to where it is now with AD (Adam Dorrel), I think it's all still the same. They're winning games, they're in the playoffs. I assume the recruiting classes are still good. I haven't heard anything bad. What we helped build is still going strong and that's the important thing."
Wand was able to catch up with some of his former teammates like wide receiver Ryan George during last month's Shawna Zech Memorial Golf Classic at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park. He also got to trade NFL stories with Tollefson whom he never got to play against but has grown to know over the years.
This was Wand's first time attending the Zech Classic since 2010. He missed the past two because of family functions, but was happy to make his way back to Maryville this summer.
"This is a great deal," said Wand. "You can come back here and talk to the coaches and old players and get to share college stories. It's just a good environment, a lot of fun."
Wand's post-NFL job at RTS affords him the freedom and proximity to Maryville to frequent Northwest football games and golf tournaments in the future. Although not as glamorous or prosperous as being an NFL player, it's a line of work he'd like to continue with for an extended period of time.
Page 3 of 3 - "That's what I enjoy doing, working on the IT side with computers and stuff," said Wand. "I guess it's my other passion aside from football."