Omaha, Neb. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder prefers football to politics.
Snyder told a crowd of football boosters in Winfield, Kan., this week that he was asked to be former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ running mate in 2006. He said he seriously considered the job but eventually decided not to delve into politics.
Snyder’s comments were first reported by the Arkansas City Traveler.
On Friday, Sebelius confirmed that she talked to the popular coach about running for lieutenant governor after he first retired in 2005. But she said he was never officially offered the job.
“I talked to a variety of people about their potential interest and running for public office, and he was one of them,” Sebelius, now secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a health care event in Omaha on Friday.
“He had been a good friend and supporter,” she said.
Snyder — who is in his second stint as coach with the Wildcats — said former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, himself a former congressman, and Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts advised him against a political run.
Snyder said his decision was sealed when Roberts told him that Sebelius would likely be offered a federal job if a Democrat won the White House in 2008, which would shift Snyder into the governor’s office.
Roberts’ office didn’t return a phone message seeking comment Friday.
Snyder made his remarks during Wednesday’s 17th annual Purple Pack Catbackers Golf Tournament and Banquet.
Sebelius chose Mark Parkinson as her running mate in June 2006, and he became governor when she was appointed to her Cabinet post earlier this year.