The man who engineered the greatest building project in college football history is retiring. On Saturday, Bill Snyder, the man who took Kansas State from oblivion to the elite of college football will hang up the headset and coach his last game at home against Missouri. Consider this my ode to one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football.

Snyder’s accomplishments at Kansas State are near epic. He came to Kansas State in 1989 from the University of Iowa. At this point the Wildcats had lost 27 consecutive games and were dubbed by Sports Illustrated as the “worst program in America”. Snyder quickly changed all of that. In ’89 they broke the losing streak, but still limped to a 1-10 record, with their only win coming on a last second TD pass against North Texas. They proceeded to go 5-6 in 1990, 7-4 in 1991 (no bowl game), and back to 5-6 in 1992. Then the bowls came. In 1993, Snyder led them to a 9-2-1 record and a Copper Bowl berth, their first bowl game since 1982 (which not so coincidentally is the only bowl game in Kansas State history from a non-Snyder team). The Copper Bowl was the first in a series of 11 consecutive bowl games that included two Fiesta Bowls. The streak ended in 2004 when the Wildcats fell to a 4-7 record.

In all, Bill Snyder led Kansas State to 135 wins in his 17 years as head coach. Nobody in the history of K-State football is even close to that win total. The Wildcats won 11 games 6 times in the Snyder era, an amazing accomplishment for a team that had only one 10 win season prior to his arrival. In 1998, Kansas State was the number one team in the nation and only a second half collapse away, in the Big XII championship against Texas A&M, from playing a less than สมัครเข้าเว็บหลัก ufabet impressive Tennessee team for the national title. In 2003, Snyder led the Wildcats to their first conference championship since 1934. Snyder is a 3-time national coach of the year (1991, 1994, and 1998) and has led Kansas State to the conference championship game on three occasions (1998, 2000, and 2003).

In the past two years the K-State program has seen signs of slippage. In 2004, they missed their first bowl game since 1992 and last Saturday they clinched their second consecutive losing season. Many attributed this string of losing to a massive loss in assistant coaching talent. Snyder, who grew up under the tutelage of legendary coach Hayden Fry at Iowa, has overseen the development of several fine college head coaches. Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Jim Leavitt (South Florida), Phil Bennett (SMU), Brett Bielema (2006 Wisconsin), and Mark Mangino (Kansas), are just a few of the coaches who cut their teeth at Kansas State under Snyder. Others attributed the slip to a loss in talent. But regardless of the reasoning no K-State fan was ready to doubt that Snyder could bring them back.

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