Wildcat’s Wizard

Manhattan’s Miracle Worker Continues to Thrive

by Tom Tabler | @TCTabler | Mail@3PSMag.com

The city of Manhattan, Kansas is for the most part a very quiet town until the end of August and beginning of September. Coach Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats have reigned supreme in Manhattan for almost 30 years. Throughout his tenure at Kansas State Bill Snyder has become one of the most respected coaches in college football. Snyder has taken what was one of the worst programs in college football history and has transformed it into a national powerhouse.

Perhaps the biggest questions that the Wildcats face coming out of spring football; is how much long Coach Snyder will continue to be the mainstay that he is on the sideline? Kansas State fans know that Bill Snyder will be walking the sideline for at least one more season. The Wildcats have a talented roster coming back for the 2017 season and are likely to be a contender for the Big 12 title. For Kansas State fans, looking forward to the season will be much easier and excitement will build just like it always does in late August and early September.

Kansas State fans remember the Ron Prince era all too well and are not anxious to make a return trip to that particular situation. Prince had a 17-20 record at Kansas State with only one bowl trip, which resulted in a loss in the Texas Bowl to Rutgers, 37-10. The 2006 season contained Prince’s most impressive win, with an upset win over Texas. The three losses to rival Kansas dampened any enthusiasm that the win over the Longhorns produced. Perhaps, the most difficult part of taking the Kansas State job was being the guy that followed Bill Snyder.

Most people like to compare coaching records between other coaches do to determine how successful the coaches have been. Snyder’s record at Kansas State is 202-105, over his 25 year tenure as the head coach. The legendary Bear Bryant went 232-46, during his tenure at Alabama. The records are not far apart when you look at the length of time both Bryant and Snyder has spent at their respective schools. However, when you look at Bobby Bowden and Florida State you will notice that win total is substantially higher. Bowden has a record of 315-98 during his tenure at Florida State with some drop off of records later in his career. Snyder has seen drop off for a season or two but he will usually bounce back with a 10 or an 11 win season. During Tom Osborne’s career at Nebraska he had a record of 255-49. Osborne’s teams were a powerhouse throughout his tenure at Nebraska with him never winning less than 9 games in a season during his 25 years. The bottom line is with all of these coaches, they have not only built the programs into powerhouses but have found ways to sustain that power.

Snyder has turned the Kansas State job into a place where coaches would like to go to continue a career. The Wildcats job is no longer thought of as being a coaching Siberia. Kansas State’s athletic department will need to have a plan in place for when Snyder does decide to step down as head coach. Some of the names that you could see in contention for the Wildcats coaching position is Sean Snyder, Dana Dimel, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and a name not getting mentioned a great deal of publicity is Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema. All four of those coaches could be possibilities for when Bill Snyder decides to ride off into the sunset. The job of replacing a legend will not be easy but all four of those men could take the position and elevate it further. Whoever takes the job, will not have an easy time of it because the Kansas State faithful are used to winning and expect that to continue.

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