Archive

ShareThis Page
Snyder enjoying 2nd go-around at Kansas State | TribLIVE.com
WVU

Snyder enjoying 2nd go-around at Kansas State

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, November 19, 2014 8:42 p.m
Snyder
Getty Images
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder speaks with place kicker Matthew McCrane before kickoff against TCU on Nov. 8, 2014 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

The bouquets and accolades tossed at Kansas State coach Bill Snyder through the years could fill a large building. Like, say, Bill Snyder Family Stadium. To get there, you might want to take Coach Bill Snyder Highway. And when you arrive, check out the 8-foot, one-ton, bronze statue depicting a certain Bill Snyder.

Naming a stadium for an active coach is rare. Technically, Snyder wasn’t active at the time. KSU Stadium was renamed in 2005 shortly after Snyder retired, seemingly for good. He returned before the 2009 season.

But that honor and the others bespeak the respect for the 75-year-old Snyder, not just in Manhattan, Kan., but points beyond. The radius includes Morgantown, W.Va., where Snyder’s Wildcats play the Mountaineers at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s amazing,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “He’s the most-respected guy in our profession. He does it the right way. … They do the right things and play the right way. They don’t beat themselves down.”

Snyder, then Iowa’s offensive coordinator, arrived at K-State in 1989 and orchestrated one of the great turnarounds in college football history, transforming a program known for its stunningly consistent failure for nearly a century. It started with changing a losing culture and laying down the law. Many laws. One was “no ear screws,” meaning earrings.

Snyder’s teams had losing records in three of his first four seasons. Only once in the next 11 seasons did K-State win as few as six games, and it went to bowl games every season. Along the way, the Wildcats won a Big 12 title outright and tied for two more. The program slipped in 2004 and ’05, prompting Snyder’s retirement. But things got worse, setting the stage for Act II.

“The Kansas State family is in flux right now,” Snyder said at his re-introductory news conference. “I want to be able to help. I want to be able to soothe the waters. I’ve learned some lessons, and there are some things I will do to encompass my family.”

Snyder mentioned that Penn State coach Joe Paterno told him he would “get awful sick and tired of seeing Little League baseball games.” He did not disavow the statement.

In Snyder’s second reconstruction, the Wildcats are 36-12 since 2011. He has four former head coaches on a staff that includes his son, who coaches special teams. Sean Snyder is a former K-State walk-on who became an All-American punter. He has worked for his dad since 1994.

The Wildcats are having another strong season despite their 40-21 loss to TCU on Nov. 8, which essentially ruined their national playoff chances. But they can still win the Big 12 title.

“Those guys are sound,” Holgorsen said of the Wildcats. “They know what to do.”

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bcohn@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.