Legendary football coach Bill Snyder honored with Wildcat Pride Award
How do you summarize former K-State football coach Bill Snyder’s career and long-ranging
impact on the Wildcat family in just a few words?
It’s challenging to condense the story of Snyder’s time with the K-State football program, considering the breadth and depth of his legacy.
When he was hired by K-State back in November 1988, the Wildcat football team had not won a game since October 1986 and had a 299-510 record overall. But where others saw impossibility, Coach Snyder saw the opportunity for what is now known as “the greatest turnaround in college football.”
Over the years, Coach Snyder has contributed to the prestige of the university, and he has also been a loyal friend to the K-State Alumni Association. Whether it’s speaking at bowl pep rallies or promoting Alumni Association membership, Snyder has been a long-time supporter of the Alumni Association’s mission to connect K-Staters.
In recognition of all the ways Coach Snyder has given back to K-State, the Alumni Association presented him with the 2020 Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award. The award honors a current or emeritus K-State faculty or staff member for his or her advocacy of alumni relations, with a special emphasis on support and participation in alumni programs that engage members of the Wildcat family.
‘Coach Snyder is responsible for many victories on the field, but he has also benefited the university community off the field,’ said Amy Button Renz ’76, ’86, K-State Alumni Association president and CEO. ‘As head coach, he attended a multitude of events across the state for the annual Catbacker Club tour. These events are jointly hosted by K-State Athletics and the K-State Alumni Association, and although the programmatic focus of the events is K-State sports news and updates, Coach Snyder was always sure to include mention of the Association in his comments. His vocal support to these important crowds helped to solidify the role of the Association to K-Staters.’
Leaving a legacy
Snyder came to K-State after serving as offensive coordinator, quarterback coach and
receiver coach at the University of Iowa.
During his tenure as K-State’s coach, Snyder led the Wildcats to 19 of the school’s 21 bowl appearances, won two conference titles, achieved two No. 1 national rankings and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Off the field, his 16 Goals for Success — including principles like commitment, unity and self-discipline — challenged all K-Staters to reach their full potential.
‘I’m so happy and thrilled to follow a legend in Coach Snyder,’ Chris Klieman said after he was announced as the new head coach of K-State football. ‘I’ve followed him from afar, went to his camps while playing in Waterloo, Iowa, and played against his Kansas State team when I was at Northern Iowa. The opportunity to follow in an icon’s footsteps is something I don’t take for granted and don’t take lightly. I know I have huge shoes to fill, and I’m excited to carry on his legacy.’
Snyder’s impact on K-State and college football continues to be recognized by outside organizations.
He was recently honored with the annual Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award and
will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.
“In many ways, the Association benefits from the success of K-State football,” Renz said. “As a partner in the K-State pep rallies and the official provider of K-State bowl travel packages, the Association has had the opportunity to interact with thousands of fans each time the football team participated in a bowl. K-State Athletics and Coach Snyder allowed us to expand and grow our reach.”
Learn more about the Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award, including winners from prior years.