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Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

Prince awaits word from K-State

Reports say Wildcats will name Virginia aide their head coach

December 4, 2005

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— Ron Prince's father remembers a son "who had more friends than Carter had pills."

Ron Hill, his high school coach at Junction City, Kan., has vivid memories of an honors student who weighed about 300 pounds and seemed bent on learning everything he could about football.

In the meantime, family and friends of Prince waited nervously Saturday for official confirmation that he had been hired to replace Bill Snyder as head football coach at Kansas State.

Several publications, including the Wichita Eagle and Gopowercat.com, reported that Prince was Kansas State's choice. What was known for sure was that Thursday a Kansas State plane flew the 36-year-old Virginia offensive coordinator into Topeka for interviews.

A Kansas State player told reporters he had been told there would be a news conference to announce the new coach Monday.

But Tim Weiser, Kansas State athletic director, refused to confirm or deny that anyone had been offered the job.

"If we have anything to report we will," Weiser told reporters during Kansas State women's basketball game Friday night.

"It's business as usual. I'm not going to comment on it. It's part of the search, guys. Like I've said before, it serves no purpose to us to comment until we have a conclusion to it."

All Kansas State officials were keeping mum. Bob Krause, vice president of institutional advancement, refused to take a call from the Associated Press.

Hill, Prince's high school coach in Junction City, said he e-mailed his former lineman Friday night and got a return e-mail Saturday morning.

"He said he can't comment on anything," Hill said. "He doesn't feel he can talk about it."

Although he is a native of Kansas and played football at Dodge City Community College, Prince's hiring would not necessarily please a great many fans.

For one thing, he does not have any direct Kansas State ties - something which Snyder had said would be important. For another, he has no head-coaching experience.

"I think he'll be really good," Hill said. "He's very intelligent. That's the thing I remember most about Ron."

The honeymoon period is likely to be short for anyone chosen to guide the once-lowly program which Snyder took over in 1989. The losingest major-college program in football history, Snyder built the Wildcats into a regional and national power and went to 11 straight bowl games.

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