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Bill Snyder (born October 7, 1939, in Saint Joseph, Missouri) is the head football coach at Kansas State Universitymarker. He was rehired to the position on November 24, 2008, making Snyder one of the few college football head coaches to have non-consecutive tenure at the same school. Snyder previously served as head coach at the school from 1989 to 2005. The football stadium at Kansas State Universitymarker is named in honor of him and his family (Bill Snyder Family Stadiummarker).

Early years

Bill Snyder grew up without a father and was raised by his mother. He left for college in the fall of 1958 to the University of Missourimarker. He played football and was the 1st string quarterback on the freshman team under coach Al Onofrio. He left after one semester in Columbiamarker, returning home to St. Joseph. He would go to a community college for one year before accepting a partial scholarship at William Jewell College, where he would graduate in three years. Snyder played defensive back at William Jewell.

Coaching career

Snyder had his first collegiate coaching experience in 1966, serving as a graduate assistant coach for the USC Trojans. He next worked as a head coach for several years in the California high school ranks. From 1976 to 1978, Snyder worked as an assistant coach at North Texas Statemarker, under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry. Snyder and Fry moved together to the University of Iowamarker in 1979, with Snyder serving as Fry's offensive coordinator for the next ten years. Snyder was hired as the 32nd head coach of the Kansas State University Wildcats following the 1988 season.

Assuming the coaching landscape remains the same entering the 2009 season, Snyder, with a 17-year record of 136-68-1, will return no lower than number 14 in career victories among active coaches, trailing Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, Frank Beamer, Jim Tressel, Mack Brown, Chris Ault, Dick Tomey, Steve Spurrier, Dennis Erickson, Brian Kelly, Mike Price, Howard Schnellenberger, Larry Blakeney, and Mike Bellotti. All time wins Snyder ranks 105th among Division-I football coaches.

Kansas State University: 1989–2005

When Snyder was hired at K-State for the first time in 1989, he took over a program that had lost 510 games and won only 299 games in 93 years of play. The program had been to only one bowl game (the 1982 Independence Bowl), won only one conference title (in 1934) and had enjoyed only two winning seasons in the prior 34 years. When Snyder was hired the program had gone winless in 27 consecutive games.

Prior to Snyder's first season in 1989, Sports Illustrated published an article about Kansas State football entitled "Futility U," which labeled the school "America's most hapless team." Snyder won only one game in his first season, beating North Texas Statemarker, but it was a significant win because it was the first for the team in three seasons. In Snyder's second season, in 1990, the Wildcats improved to 5–6. The five wins posted by the team had been matched only twice in the prior 17 years at the school, in 1973 (5–6) and 1982 (6–5).

The 1991 season saw another breakthrough, when the Wildcats finished with a winning record of 7–4 and narrowly missed a bowl bid. It was only the second winning season at Kansas State since 1970, and the team's 4–3 conference record was only the third winning conference mark since 1934. Two years later, Snyder led the Wildcats to the school's second bowl game – the 1993 Copper Bowl – and their first bowl win ever. The season also marked the second 9-win season in school history and the team's first ranking in the final top 20 poll. The 1993 bowl game was the first of 11 consecutive bowl games during Snyder's 17 seasons at Kansas State. Kansas State went to bowl games every season from 1993–2003, one of just seven schools to do so. K-State won six of those bowl games.

Snyder's legacy at K-State includes winning the Big 12 championship in 2003 – the school's second major conference title ever. During the 1998 season, Kansas State posted an undefeated 11–0 regular season and earned its first ever number 1 ranking in the national polls, just ten years after being named the worst program in the country by Sports Illustrated.

With an 11–4 record in 2003, Kansas State became the only team in the country to win 11 games in six of the previous seven years, and just the second program in the history of college football to win 11 games six times in a seven-year stretch.

He was national coach of the year three times, and conference coach of the year six times. During his tenure, K-State producted 33 AP All-Americans, 42 NFL Draft picks, and 46 1st team academic All-Americans.

Snyder retired from Kansas State on November 15, 2005, with an overall record of 136–68–1. Snyder held the head coaching position at Kansas State longer than any other coach, and his 136 wins are as many as his 11 predecessors won from 1935 to 1988 combined. He is far and away the winningest coach in Kansas State history (no other coach has crossed the 40-win mark). At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth at Kansas State in terms of winning percentage.

The day after Snyder announced his retirement, K-State renamed its football stadium Bill Snyder Family Football Stadiummarker in his honor. Ron Prince, formerly an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Virginiamarker, was named Bill Snyder's replacement on December 5, 2005.

During Snyder's first tenure, a number of his assistants became head coaches at other Division I schools. These coaches include Phil Bennett (SMUmarker), Bret Bielema (Wisconsinmarker), Jim Leavitt (South Floridamarker), Mark Mangino (Kansasmarker), Dana Dimel (Wyomingmarker), Bob Stoops (Oklahomamarker) and Mike Stoops (Arizonamarker).

While Snyder was criticized for scheduling weak opponents, his first tenure at Kansas State is still considered one of the most successful rebuilding projects in collegiate history. In recognition of his rebuilding work, Hall of Fame football coach Barry Switzer once stated, "He's not the coach of the year, he's not the coach of the decade, he's the coach of the century."

Kansas State University: 2009–present

After being out of coaching for three years, on November 24, 2008, Bill Snyder was named to a second term as head football coach at Kansas State University, beginning in the 2009 season. Also, he will be one of the only coaches to coach in a stadium named after him, due to the fact that it was renamed after him upon his original retirement.


In 1998 Snyder was recognized as the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and was awarded the Bear Bryant Award and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. He was also a finalist for the Bear Bryant Award in 1993 and 1995, a finalist for the Football News National Coach of the Year Award in 1995 and 1998, and a finalist for the Kodak/AFCA National Coach of the Year Award in 1993 and 1998. Of somewhat lesser note, ESPN selected Snyder as its national coach of the year in 1991, and CNN selected him as its national coach of the year in 1995.

In the conference, coach Snyder was selected Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year by the Associated Press three times (1990, 1991 and 1993), joining Bob Devaney as the only two men in Big Eight history to be named Coach of the Year three times in a four-year period. Snyder was also named Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year twice, in 1998 (Associated Press, coaches) and 2002 (coaches). In 2003, Snyder was named to the Board of Trustees of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

In 2006, Snyder was enshrined in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Famemarker.

Coaching record

^The Big Eight disbanded following the 1995 season; in 1996, its eight members joined with four former members of the Southwest Conference to form the Big 12, which consists of North and South divisions.

In 1999, Kansas Statemarker lost the head to head game with Nebraska, giving Nebraska the North Division title, although both teams finished with the same conference record. In 2000, Kansas State won the head to head game, resulting a North Division title.

Record against conference opponents

Team Wins Losses Ties Win Pct.
Baylor Bearsmarker 4 0 0 1.000
Colorado Buffaloes 6 11 1 .333
Iowa State Cyclones 14 4 0 .777
Kansas Jayhawks 14 4 0 .778
Missouri Tigers 14 4 0 .778
Nebraska Cornhuskers 5 13 0 .278
Oklahoma Sooners 6 9 0 .400
Oklahoma State Cowboys 9 2 0 .818
Texas Longhorns 2 2 0 .500
Texas A&M Aggies 3 5 0 .375
Texas Tech Red Raiders 3 4 0 .429
Total 80 58 1 .588

Player accomplishments

During the Snyder era, Kansas State players won the following national awards:

Heisman Trophy:


Booster infraction

On February 18, 1999, while Snyder was head coach, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions found that Kansas State boosters provided a football student-athlete with money for his personal use, in violation of NCAA regulations. The committee expressly found no fault whatsoever on the part of Snyder or the institution itself, and said the institution's response to the reported violation was "exemplary." The university voluntarily disassociated itself from seven athletic boosters, and the NCAA extended an existing probation on the school for one year.

Player misconduct at 2004 Fiesta Bowl

In the early morning hours of New Year's Day, 2004, police were called to the Kansas State team hotel in Paradise Valley, Arizonamarker, by a woman who accused quarterback Ell Roberson of sexually assaulting her. Roberson and the rest of the Kansas State team were in town to play Ohio Statemarker in the Fiesta Bowl. Police did not arrest Roberson, and later determined that no crime had been committed and no charges should be filed, but an investigation by the Kansas State athletic department concluded that Roberson and several other players had violated unspecified team rules. As a result, Snyder stripped Roberson of his scholarship, denied the players their Fiesta Bowl rings and required them to perform community service. Snyder also issued an open letter of apology to the people of Kansas and supporters of Kansas State's football program for the conduct of his players in the days leading up to the bowl game.


On June 19, 2009, the Kansas Board of Regents released the results of an audit that was performed by Grant Thornton LLP as an exit analysis for outgoing Kansas State president Jon Wefald. Included among the findings in the audit was that the university paid thousands of dollars to a corporation owned by Bill Snyder rather than to Snyder personally. Additionally, the university made some of its payments to Snyder from a contingency fund rather than the athletic department's general operating fund. The audit does not state that any of the payments were illegal, and Snyder has denied that any of the payments he received from the university, either directly or through his corporation, were improper. The new university president and athletic director later released a joint letter that states, in part, "In our opinion, there are no grounds to even begin to insinuate that Coach Snyder has ever benefited improperly from his relationship with K-State."

Personal life

Snyder is a 1962 graduate of William Jewell College, where he played defensive back (3 letters) from 1959 to 1962 for Norris Patterson. Snyder also received an M.A. at Eastern New Mexico University in 1965.

In addition to his work as the football coach, Snyder was active in raising funds for the library at Kansas State University. Snyder also currently serves as chairman of the Leadership Studies Building Campaign, honorary chairman of the K-State Changing Lives Campaign, and is past president of the Friends of the Libraries organization at K-State.

Snyder and his wife Sharon have five children. They live in Manhattan, Kansasmarker.


  1. Snyder hiring
  2. Snyder's early years
  3. Coaching facts
  4. College Football Database
  10. Snyder re-named head coach
  11. NCAA Infractions Report
  18. Snyder's Return Gives K-State Fans Hope of Moving Forward

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