WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas State coach Bill Snyder announced that he’s been fighting throat cancer. The 77-year-old has been receiving treatment for the past few weeks but did not describe the severity of the cancer or what types of treatments he’s getting. However, the doctors are projecting a positive outcome. Snyder expects to be on the field from Spring practice in March. Until then, his son, assistant head coach Sean Snyder, will carry out the responsibilities of preparing the team for the next season.
Precise, intense and tireless were a few words used to describe coach Bill Snyder Monday, by those who are working hard to honor what he’s built at Kansas State.
“Coach Snyder bleeds purple,” said former K-State football player Brandon Clark, who now coaches the Derby High School football team. “Playing for him was an honor.”
With a 26 year coaching history, coach Bill Snyder is a beloved member of the K- State community but his time was met with some early challenges.
“Coach came to K-State and basically resurrected a dead program. It was the worst program in college football history,” said Jordan Poland, director of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
When Snyder took over K-States football program in 1989, they had lost 27 games in a row. He brought them their first win in three years which is still known today as the greatest turn-around in football history.
“A lot of our program is based on what coach Snyder has done at K-State,” said Dan Dawdy, Derby High’s senior quarterback.
Dawdy’s coach Brandon Clark, played for Snyder from 1997 to 2001, and there’s no doubt that the lessons he learned were passed down to his students.
“He understands players personalities really well, and he adjusts his coaching style based on what type of kid you are,” admits Dawdy.
The director of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame tells us he attended K-State when Snyder took a break from coaching but working in the Hall of Fame allows him to continue to appreciate everything Snyder has done for the community.
“Coach, thanks for everything you’ve done not only for the Hall of Fame but for the state of Kansas. Some of the kids that you’ve coached have gone on to do some amazing things and all of us look up to you so, we hope you get well soon,” said Poland, Kansas’ Sports Hall of Fame Director.