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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

K-State football coach to speak in Fort Scott

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder, the architect of the "greatest turnaround in the history of college football," will speak at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center on the Fort Scott Community College campus.

Snyder will speak "Achieving Success, Mentoring & Leadership" and will take questions and answers from the audience after his speech. He returned in 2009 to lead the Kansas State football program after 17 ultra-successful seasons as the head coach from 1989-2005. And, following a 7-5 regular season campaign in 2010, Snyder had K-State back in the bowl picture following its berth in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Named the 32nd head football coach at Kansas State on Nov. 30, 1988, and again as the 34th on Nov. 24 2008, Snyder has amassed a 149-80-1 (.653) record during his tenure with the Wildcats, including an 82-62-1 (.569) mark in Big 8/12 games. His 149 victories are the 12th-most among active FBS coaches and are more than triple the man in second place on K-State's all-time coaching victories list (Mike Ahearn, 39 wins).

But to fully understand the turnaround ushered in by Snyder at Kansas State one must only consider that the Wildcats were in the midst of an 0-26-1 run when he was hired. It also took K-State 51 seasons (1938-1988) to total just 130 wins, while the 12 head coaches prior to Snyder's arrival in Manhattan combined to win just 116 games from 1945-1988.

Snyder led Kansas State to 11 straight bowl berths between the 1993 and 2003 seasons, making K-State one of only seven programs in the nation to appear in the postseason every year during that stretch. During that span, Snyder's Wildcats won nearly 80 percent of their games, chalking up 109 victories -- a staggering average of nearly 10 wins per season -- and making Kansas State the nation's second-winningest program over that period.

Snyder's unprecedented success in 19 years at Kansas State has not gone unnoticed. He was named the National Coach of the Year on three occasions (1991, 1994 and 1998). He has been a finalist for the prestigious Bear Bryant/FWAA National Coach of the Year Award in 1993 and 1995 before winning in 1998; 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.

In 1993, he joined legendary Nebraska head coach Bob Devaney as the only head coaches in Big Eight history to be named Associated Press Big Eight Coach of the Year three times in a four-year period (1990, 1991 and 1993). The Houston Chronicle named him the 1996 Big 12 Coach of the Year, while he earned 1997 and 1998 Big 12 Coach of the Year honors from the Kansas City Star. Snyder also was the 1998 Big 12 Coach of the Year by the AP and by a vote of league coaches before earning the league coaches' support again in 2002. The 2003 season brought more honors, including Big 12 Coach of the Year accolades from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ESPN.com.

Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Snyder's Wildcats truly became a dominant force in the league, ranking in the top three in overall Big 12 wins during his first tenure. Kansas State also won more Big 12 road games than any team in the league and advanced to the championship game three times. Those facts alone demonstrate the continuing evolution of a power in the Big 12 Conference and with it the recognition that Snyder is truly one of the finest coaches in college football today.

Snyder, 71, received his B.A. from William Jewell in 1963. He earned his master's from Eastern New Mexico in 1965. As a player, he was a three-year letter winner as a defensive back at William Jewell. Snyder and his wife, Sharon, have two sons (Sean and Ross) and three daughters (Shannon, Meredith and Whitney). They also have eight grandchildren

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