Kansas State's Bill Snyder still winning the second time around

BERRY TRAMEL — Coaching sequels rarely work, but the man who turned around Kansas State football is working another Manhattan Miracle.
by Berry Tramel Modified: October 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm •  Published: October 27, 2011

The other night, still working in his office, Snyder talked about the sequel, about the differences in taking over a wasteland, knowing virtually no one, and taking over a program that has excelled, and knowing everything there is to know about everything.

“I can assure you, I don't know everything about everything,” Snyder said.

“What's different between now and then, I think it's obvious, we're in a better place when I came back than we were way back in '88, '89.

“The physical things are so much better. The facilities are in place. Our numbers are better.”

But some things are the same. Namely the people. Snyder built K-State the way all good leaders build. With good people.

“The kind of young people that we had and have are very similar,” Snyder said. “Guys that want to do very well. Guys that have principles about them that they want to be successful.

“If you don't have good young people, you can coach as long and as hard as you can, and you will have some issues.

“I had a lot of wonderful people around me. The same thing is true again … quality people around you, and not just the coaching staff. I've been blessed to have that. That's been here from Day One.”

Snyder is 72. He's 23 years removed from taking the job that other coaches ran from. Thirty years from coaching quarterback Chuck Long deep into the night at Iowa, where graduate assistant Bobby Stoops would bring some food he knew his friend, Long, would eat and his offensive coordinator would ignore.

Snyder isn't the same coach he was in 1998, when the 'Cats came within a whisker of the national title game, or 2003, when he toppled the unbeatable Sooners. Isn't quite the same man. Snyder has slipped some. No doubt about that. We all do or will.

“I have had ah-ha moments, where something came back to me,” Snyder said. “Some things I had left out of the equation, but I could draw from past experiences.

“It might be something schematically done on the field, how we did a certain thing offensively or defensively, bumble around, then it comes to you.”

But for the most part, K-State football 2011 is the same as K-State football 2001 and K-State football 1991. Monday morning meeting, achieve this goal. Monday afternoon meeting, achieve that goal. Monday practice, achieve, well, you get the idea.

Snyder Strikes Back. The sequel continues.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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Coaching sequels

Coaching sequels rarely work in football. Here are the cases in college and the NFL where a coach returned to his former job:

College

Successes

JIM SWEENEY, Fresno State

1976-77: 15-7

1978-96: 129-67-3

MIKE RILEY, Oregon State

1997-98: 8-14

2003-2011: 63-45

BILL SNYDER, Kansas State

1989-05: 136-68

2009-11: 20-12

Failures

DON FAMBROUGH, Kansas

1971-74: 20-24-1

1979-82: 17-24-4

BILL WALSH, Stanford

1977-78: 17-7

1992-94: 17-17-1

JOHNNY MAJORS, Pitt

1973-76: 33-13-1

1993-96: 12-32

JOHN ROBINSON, Southern Cal

1976-82: 67-14-2

1993-97: 37-21-2

NFL

Successes

George Halas, Bears

1920-29: 84-31-19 (1 NFL title)

1933-42: 88-24-4 (4-2 playoffs, 3 NFL titles)

1946-55: 76-43-2 (1-1, 1 NFL title)

1958-67: 75-53-6 (1-0, 1 NFL title)

Failures

Potsy Clark, Lions

1931-36: 49-20-6 (1-0, 1 NFL title)

1940: 5-5-1

Joe Bach, Steelers

1935-36: 10-14

1952-53: 11-13

WALT KIESLING, Steelers

1939-44: 16-33-5

1954-56: 14-22

Lou Saban, Bills

1962-65: 38-18-3; two AFL titles

1972-76: 32-29-1; (0-1 playoffs)

Bud Grant, Vikings

1967-1983: 161-99-5 (10-12)

1985: 7-9

CHUCK KNOX, Rams

1973-77: 57-20-1 (3-5)

1992-94: 15-33

Ted Marchibroda, Colts

1975-79: 41-36 (0-3)

1992-95: 30-34

JOE GIBBS, Redskins

1981-1992: 140-65 (16-5, 3 NFL titles)

2004-07: 30-34 (1-2)

Art Shell, Raiders

1989-94: 56-41 (2-3)

2006: 2-14

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