Bill Snyder’s second run at Kansas State is coming to an end. The 79-year-old coach’s retirement was officially announced Sunday.
“Coach Snyder has had an immeasurable impact on our football program, Kansas State University, the Manhattan community and the entire state of Kansas, and it has been an honor and a privilege to get to know and work with him the past two years,” KSU athletic director Gene Taylor said in statement. “He and his family have touched the lives of so many people, from student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, and he is truly one of the greatest coaches and leaders in college football history. His impact on college football is unmatched and legacy is one that will last a lifetime.”
There is no quote from Snyder in Kansas State’s release announcing his departure.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported Sunday morning that Snyder’s future with the team would be decided in the afternoon. He also named some candidates for the job.
If the expected happens and Kansas State today and Bill Snyder doesn't return, here's the names to watch: Chris Klieman NDSU, Seth Littrell UNT, Craig Bohl Wyoming, Mike Norvell Memphis and Blake Anderson ArkSt. Brent Venables has been clear in past he has no interest.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 2, 2018
Snyder is KSU’s most successful coach … by far
Snyder is the man responsible for making Kansas State’s football program relevant nationally. He took over a terrible program in 1989 and won five games in his second season. Kansas State had won four games in the previous five seasons. He retired after the 2005 season but returned to coach the Wildcats after a three-year Ron Prince tenure.
Kansas State’s best success came from 1995-2000. The Wildcats were ranked in the AP top 10 at least once in all six of those seasons and reached as high as No. 2 in 1998 and 2000. KSU had four-straight 11-win seasons from 1997-2000.
The greatest and most heartbreaking season for the Wildcats came in 1998. K-State conquered Nebraska that season and stormed out to an 11-0 record. A win over Texas A&M in the Big 12 title game would mean the Wildcats would play for the national championship.
The Aggies upset Kansas State 36-33 and ruined the undefeated season. Kansas State ended up in the Alamo Bowl, where it lost to Drew Brees and Purdue to finish 11-2.
The program hasn’t reached those consistent heights in Snyder’s second tenure. It’s gone to a bowl game for eight straight seasons but hasn’t won more than nine games in a season since 2012. One more loss in 2018 would mean Kansas State would miss a bowl game for the sixth time since 1993.
Snyder was diagnosed with throat cancer before the Wildcats played in the Texas Bowl. He coached the game and announced the cancer diagnosis in February of 2017. He said in April of that year that he had completed his cancer treatments.
Snyder’s career record will stand at 215-117. He’s one of just six KSU coaches to have winning records at the school and no other Kansas State coach has more than 33 victories. Perhaps more remarkably, Kansas State has been to 19 bowls over the course of Snyder’s two tenures. The program has two bowl appearances under other coaches.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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