Manhattan Bill Snyder agreed to a five-year contract with Kansas State on Friday, giving the 69-year-old coach the opportunity to pull off another reclamation project after the program he built unraveled under Ron Prince.
Snyder will be paid a base salary plus supplemental licensing payments totaling $1.85 million this season, $1.875 million next season, $1.925 million in 2011-12, $1.95 million in 2012-13 and $1.975 million in 2013-14.
Performance incentives could reward Snyder up to an additional $455,000, including $75,000 for winning the Big 12 title game and $250,000 for winning the BCS national championship.
“The reason we came to Kansas State was because of the people, we have stayed here all of these years because of the people and our reason for returning was because of the people,” Snyder said in a statement Friday.
Snyder compiled a 136-68-1 record over his first 17 seasons — a remarkable turnaround for a program that had won only 130 games the previous 51 years. He retired in November 2005, citing fatigue and the desire to spend more time with his family, only to come back this season.
“Coach Snyder is one of the true legends of college football,” said first-year athletic director John Currie. “My first impression of Kansas State was the toughness and determination of a football team led by Coach Snyder at the 2001 Cotton Bowl, and we are excited about the direction of our football program under his leadership.”
Kansas State, which plays a rare nonconference game at Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, opened its season last weekend with a 21-17 victory over Massachusetts, a sloppy performance that gave Snyder an indication of the work that lay ahead.
As more than 300 former players returned for what was dubbed a family reunion, wearing their jerseys as they lined the sideline, the Wildcats turned the ball over three times and allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown. A record opening crowd of 50,750 watched Kansas State fritter away a big lead before hanging on to win its 21st straight home opener and 18th under Snyder.
Still, the program is in far better shape than Snyder found it, when the relatively unknown offensive coordinator from Iowa promised the greatest turnaround in college football.
Many believe that without Snyder, Kansas State might not be a member of the Big 12 today. When he arrived, the school was 299-510, the only major college with 500 losses. The Wildcats, derisively called the “Mildcats” by rivals, had enjoyed only two winning seasons in 34 years.
But by 1997, Snyder’s Wildcats were contending for national as well as conference honors, and hit their high point in 2003, beating Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
The success so endeared him to fans across the state that not only was the football stadium named in his honor, so was the highway leading into town.
In addition to his base salary, Snyder will receive the use of a courtesy car and a vehicle stipend of $10,000 annually; access to a suite at Bill Snyder Family Stadium; a country club membership; a family membership at the KSU Rec Complex; eight men’s season basketball tickets and four women’s season basketball tickets, and four tickets to the Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and, as available, four tickets to NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments for games in which K-State participates.
Upon the conclusion of Snyder’s employment as coach, he will continue to be paid $150,000 annually as a special assistant to the athletic director.
“We are excited to have Coach Snyder back on the sidelines and leading our football program,” Kansas State president Kirk Schulz said. “No other coach in America has served his institution with greater dedication and loyalty, and we are confident about the future of K-State football.”