Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

K-State makes it official: Snyder to coach Wildcats again

Bill Snyder, the former Kansas State football coach, will again lead the Wildcats starting in the 2009 season. He was the winningest coach in KSU football history.

November 24, 2008, 10:28 a.m. Updated November 24, 2008, 11:12 a.m.


Bill Snyder will return to Kansas State to coach the Wildcats for the second time.

Kansas State made the announcement in a news release Monday morning shortly before a scheduled news conference where Snyder, 69, was to be introduced as the new coach.

Snyder retired three years ago after turning around the football program at Kansas State in what has been called "the Miracle in Manhattan." He left with a 136-68-1 record and was replaced by Ron Prince, who was fired with three games left but finished out the season.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Jon McGraw, who starred for Snyder from 1999-2001, said he spoke with his old coach several months ago and "got the feeling he missed being out of coaching."

"But it didn't occur to me he would want to come back," McGraw said.

Snyder was the offensive coordinator at Iowa when then-athletic director Steve Miller hired him after the 1988 season. The Wildcats had gone 0-21-1 their two previous years and many people were wondering if the school ought to give up major college football status.

The Wildcats had a record of 299-510, the only major college with 500 losses. They'd won one conference title — in 1934 — and enjoyed only two winning seasons in 34 years.

But by 1997, Snyder had the Wildcats contending for national as well as Big 12 honors. As one long-suffering fan put it at the time, "It's like we're a big extended family that's been living in poverty for generations, but now we've got a smart uncle who's making us all rich."

When Snyder retired as the most revered figure in the school's athletic history, the stadium was renamed "Bill Snyder Family Stadium," and the highway leading from Interstate 70 into Manhattan was renamed "Bill Snyder Highway."

Prince, who replaced Snyder after the 2005 season, was 17-20 and beaten down by the same disadvantages that have plagued Kansas State for decades: no major population within a short distance to recruit from, little tradition and less money than more richly endowed institutions.

In a profession known for sleep-deprived workaholics, Snyder's nearly inhuman devotion to his work became legendary. During his tenure as head coach, one of sons, Ross, was recruited by several smaller schools in the area as a running back.

On national signing day, Ross decided to attend Butler County Community College. A reporter who knew the family approached Snyder following Kansas State's recruiting news conference that day and remarked that he thought Ross had made a good choice.

"Who did he sign with?" Snyder asked. He had been so wrapped up in Kansas State's recruiting, he hadn't yet learned where his son was going to school.

Another key reason for Snyder's success was his eye for coaching talent. Among the young assistants he brought to Kansas State who went on to become head coaches were Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, Mark Mangino at Kansas, Jim Leavitt at South Florida and Mike Stoops at Arizona.

His first Kansas State team won only one game, beating North Texas with a last-minute drive. The next year they were 5-6, matching their best record in 17 years. In 1993, they won the Copper Bowl and began a string of 11 consecutive bowl trips.

In 2003, the Wildcats beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game for their only league title since 1934.

Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer told The Associated Press when Snyder retired that he considered what Snyder had done at Kansas State "the greatest coaching job in history."


The_riot_is 9 years, 6 months ago

At least he'll be able to coach the seniors that he recruited before he retired.

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 6 months ago

So it would appear that Snyder offered his services before Prince was fired.

Thats_messed_up 9 years, 6 months ago

When's Mangello leaving for the Washington Huskies?

jasb71 9 years, 6 months ago

The whole the smells like a cat fart. This mess will set the program back for years. His best years are long gone the game has passed him by, just look how bad they had become in his last few seasons.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 6 months ago

""Who did he sign with?" Snyder asked. He had been so wrapped up in Kansas State's recruiting, he hadn't yet learned where his son was going to school."That's very, very sad.

jasb71 9 years, 6 months ago

Who is Mangello and what does that have to do with this story????

Bladerunner 9 years, 6 months ago

"Mangello" Please Gawd tell me thats not a new jello flavor. (Beef and potatos?) Insert flavor suggestions here_____. LOL

Confrontation 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I'm sure the cats will go. Right down the drain, just like the rest of the crap in Manhattan.

LooPerkinsucks 9 years, 6 months ago

Confrontation, you sound like a real prick. I have family and friends in Manhattan, are you calling them all crap? Get back to work you squirrel.

chorn 9 years, 6 months ago

Just a friendly reminder, all that "crap" that goes down the drain. It floats down the kansas river and the city of lawrence uses it for drinking water.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 6 months ago

Snyder will disappoint. I'd bet KU's Orange Bowl Trophy on that.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.