Bill Snyder Sets Sights on National Championship Run

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder is one of the most respected coaches in college football because he was able to turn the school’s football program around and make the team a perennial Big 12 title contender. Even though the Wildcats haven’t won the conference in a while, opponents still fear going into Manhattan, where a lot of championship dreams have died in the past. If you want to bet on the Wildcats, click here to bet on college football this season.

Snyder is so revered by coaches and fans that anyone that has been around him has heard the story of an old man that lived in Western Kansas who drove all night to meet Snyder after the Wildcats won the Copper Bowl. 

The man was so in awe of the coach, he didn’t mind waiting outside until the coach arrived at his office. When Snyder arrived, both men talked about family and life, and the man told Snyder the Copper Bowl victory was the greatest of his life.

When Snyder told the story later, he said that conversation let him understand the meaning of what he does for other people.

Interestingly, at the time Snyder met with the man from Western Kansas, he was still just starting out. Now that Snyder has established the Wildcats as one of the best teams in the Big 12, you can only imagine how excited that old man would be if he could see the complete transformation.

After 25 years on the job and a brief retirement, Snyder, now 77-years-old, has seen the stadium named after him and the school, which was a national laughing stock, has undergone a $200 million renovation and is considered one of the best stadiums in the country.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule recalled a story last year where he and his wife were attending a party and sat next to an older lady. The lady told Rhule and his wife they should meet her husband, who turned out to be Bill Snyder.

Rhule said he was so in awe of the coach that he froze in fear for a second.

The thing most coaches respect about Snyder is the fact that Kansas State is a relatively small school, yet he doesn’t see it as a disadvantage. Every year, schools like Alabama announce that they have the top recruiting class in the country because a lot of high school kids want to play for Nick Saban and have a chance to compete for a national championship.

In Snyder’s case, he has been successful without any of the big name recruits, because he makes do with what he has and gets the best of his players, who weren’t highly recruited out of high school.

Another reason a lot of people respect Snyder is the fact that his players rarely get into trouble, which is something only a few coaches can say. He also has one of the highest graduation rates in college football because he stresses the importance of taking advantage of the free education the players get since not all of them are guaranteed to play in the NFL and need to have a fallback plan.

Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Snyder is still trying to win that elusive national championship, and thinks he has the squad to do so this year.