After 30 years, the man, the myth, the legend, the Purple Wizard, Bill Snyder is retiring as the head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats, as first reported by Ryan Black with The Mercury. An official announcement is expected around 3:00 PM, CT.
If you’re here, if you’re reading this, I don’t need to explain the mark Snyder has had on college football. This truly is the end of an era as most fans don’t know college football without coach Snyder.
“The opportunity for the greatest turnaround in college football exists here today, and it’s not going to be taken lightly. I certainly will not do that,” Coach Snyder said 30 years ago. “You can be assured that this will be a staff of people who will put together quality young people in our program. Our program will be built around quality. It will be built around class. It will be built around quality and class people. I can assure you of that.”
Without question, Snyder lived up to that promise.
He took over a struggling Wildcat program in 1989, and in a few short seasons, he led the program to unprecedented success. From 1993 to 2000, the K-State averaged over 10 wins a season. This was a program that hadn’t accumulated 10 wins combined in the six seasons prior to Snyder’s arrival, and had never had more than 8 wins in a season in the program’s history. Snyder took over a rag-tag program that could barely field anything resembling a football team, and turned it into a power on the plains.
Snyder stepped down from his post after the 2005 season, but returned to Kansas State in 2009. In total, Snyder coached Kansas State for 27 years.
The measurables say that it’s hard for a program like Kansas State to find success, but Snyder defied those odds. Nobody in the history of the sport has done more with less.
Snyder coached an incredible 333 games, and even more incredibly, he won 215 of them. He took the Wildcats to 9 10-win seasons and 19 bowl games; including a trip to the Fiesta Bowl in 2012.
It’s not the winning that elevated Snyder to legendary status, though. Well, it’s not only the winning. It’s the fact that he built the program the right way, he did it with class, and has been the epitome of sportsmanship. From being a father-figure to his players, to hand-writing letters of support to opposing players, Snyder has been the North Star of college football.
However, Snyder’s health has been a concern over the past couple of seasons. Snyder revealed in February of last year that he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. He finished the treatments in April, and was able to return for the 2017 season. The reality is though, Snyder is nearly 80 years old, and not getting any younger.
Stepping down now allows the fans to remember coach Snyder as he should be remembered: the greatest coach in Kansas State history, and in my opinion, college football history. EMAW.