Bill Snyder Continues to Work His Magic

Under Coach Bill Snyder, the Kansas State Wildcats’ football team has worked themselves back into the national championship picture in 2012. And as anyone who follows college football knows, this is no accident. Snyder performed the greatest turnaround in college football history a couple decades ago when he took the KSU football program from the doldrums to national prominence.

So why is this resurrection of the Wildcats so surprising?

I have to admit I never thought he’d get K-State football back to where it was in the late 90s. I guess it was because the program was beginning to look mortal toward the end of his first tenure as coach. I wasn’t sure he still had the fire in him to get KSU football back to the level he had previously taken it. Certainly he came back to lift the program from where it had fallen to under Ron Price – and I had little doubt he would achieve that. But to get it to this level once again – I would have never believed it.

But as it turns out, Bill Snyder is Bill Snyder – regardless of what year it is, what age he is, or how the chips seem to be stacked against him. He’s an incredible football coach who can coach up players and get them to excel in his system, regardless of how many stars were attached to their names coming out of high school.

So although K-State football was floundering when Snyder came back out of retirement a couple of years ago, it should be no surprise that he has brought the program back to within a couple games of playing for a national championship. There are still games left to be played, but whether Kansas State wins them all, or comes up a little bit short, the man who looks more like a retired English Professor than a football coach has made his point. You never forget how to be a great coach, and what it takes to win.

Bill Snyder has proven that.

If you haven’t had a chance to read his book about the building of the Kansas State football program, come in and check it out at the library:

Bill Snyder: They Said it Couldn’t be Done: An Inside Look at the Man, the Coach, and the Greatest Turnaround in College Football History by Mark Janssen with Bill Snyder

And if you’re a K-State fan, you’d probably enjoy these other books we have as well:




I'm the Red Carpet Librarian and work to bring lifelong support services to the Topeka and Shawnee County area through outreach and programming. I also am a sports enthusiast, work closely with the library's sports collection, and provide programming to engage the community's sports fans.

2 thoughts on “Bill Snyder Continues to Work His Magic

  1. Collin Klein is a case in point. Recruited as a receiver, he has become a prolific quarterback in Coach Snyder’s system. Catch his story in the latest Sports Illustrated.

  2. As far as as a pure football mind, I maintain Snyder is the best ever, and I’m a KU alum. He combines a methodical passion for details with a rare willingness to completely change his style to suit the players he has. He isn’t wedded to any one way of doing things or any “common wisdom” and will do whatever it takes to nurse out a W or a winning season. Most coaches will continue to pound their “system” into their team and keep running it regardless until they are handed their pink slip. Then they will get a new gig and do it all over again.

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