When Bill Snyder arrived on the campus in 1989, there probably wasn’t anyone who thought he could do what he did — besides the Hall of Famer himself. As K-State thanked him for everything last night, despite all that he did for the ‘Cats, he made sure the people knew all that had happened since his hiring was bigger than just one person.
“Tonight, we celebrate the man who changed the football program, he changed the entire athletic department. not only did he change an athletic department, he changed an entire university. Not only did he change an entire university, he changed an entire state. he changed an entire region and he engineered, at a great engineering school, the greatest turn around in the history of college football,” Mitch Holthus said.
As coach Snyder walks away from the job he loved for so many years, it’s hard to find a way to describe what he’s meant to K-State fans and athletics, but those close to him gave it their best last night.
“Thank you for the impact that you had on our wonderful game, thank you for taking our game. thank you for taking our game to new heights. proving to the world that you can win games and conferences while building men of character,” Kevin Lockett said.
As all big 12 wideout Kevin Lockett alluded to, it was more than football that Snyder affected.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think what would coach tell me to do in this situation, and I take pride in it because I have an amazing wife that I never would have met if it wasn’t for coach Snyder,” former ‘Cat B.J. Finney said.
Snyder had his chance to go to bigger programs, but he knew he had something special in Manhattan.
“We came because of the people, we stayed because of the people and when we weren’t coaching, we didn’t fly off to Florida or California, we stayed right here in Manhattan, Kansas because of the people,” Snyder said.
Snyder’s work ethic is well documented and those who he mentored had a tale or two about that
bob stoops – one night, Jim Leavitt and I were going over the grease board or the chalkboard back then and coach knocked on the door and said hey, it’s 11:20 at night, you guys go home early tonight,” former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said.
In the end, as coach will tell you, it was more than him, it was all about the K-State family.
“You know the university in the last six years or so forwarded that concept that was just alluded to about family, it’s been a family for 30 years because of you, I’m humbled by things that’ve been said tonight but this truly is about a family. This is about you.’