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Coach Snyder Hasn't Changed

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August 20, 2013 
By Mark Janssen 
 
It's August... Bill Snyder's favorite month. 
 
Normally, the temperature is in the 90s more days than not. A sweltering humidity is generally the norm. The turf of his home - Bill Snyder Family Stadium - can melt a Nike sole and drain the soul of the toughest Wildcat. 
 
Yes, a great time of the year for two-a-days, as Snyder is beginning his 22nd season at Kansas State. 
 
The first stint of 17 years - 1989-2005 - was the "Miracle in Manhattan" with seven seasons of at least 10 wins, three additional nine-win years and those 11 memorable bowl seasons. 
 
After the 2005 season he said "...the timing was right" to retire. 
 
At his re-hiring press conference following the 2008 campaign, Snyder said, "I want to attempt to calm the waters and put our fans in a position where they can draw together, which is not in place, but needs to be." 
 
Nothing draws fans together like winning and that's exactly what Snyder's Wildcats have done with 34 wins over the last four years, 21 of which have come in the last two season. The Wildcats have been to three bowls in the last three years and won the 2012 Big 12 Championship. 
 
The Wildcat program is again in a smooth-sailing mode. 
 
Some say the soon to be 74-year-old Wildcat coach seems more relaxed... that he's smiling more. But that might be due to those mentioned 21 wins over the last two years. 
 
Others say he needs to add weight, and that he looks tired. But he says his weight hasn't changed over time and looking weary comes with continuous 15- to 17-hour working days over a five-month period from August through December. 
 
But for those who have worked with Snyder before and now today, or played for Snyder before and are coaching with him today, they say nothing has changed from 10 to 15 years ago. 
 
"I remember my first year with coach when I was 27 years old," said Dana Dimel, who today is his co-offensive coordinator. "I was dead tired. We worked so hard that first year, and we're still grinding it hard and I'm dead tired at times. That hasn't changed a lick." 
 
"Coach is coach," said Mo Latimore, who was an all-star player for the Cats in 1970-71 and has coached under Snyder in 16 seasons. "He's still demanding, he still has a real attention to detail, and he expects you to take care of your responsibilities to make the program work." 
 
Today, Andre Coleman is Snyder's wide receivers coach, while in the early-1990s he was a Wildcat wide receiver and return specialist. 
 
Coleman reflected, "I think when I played, and now with players today, there's such a loyalty that you don't want to let the man down. You don't want to fall short because coach is coach. What you see is what you get. He is so consistent. That was true when I played, that's true today." 
 
Blake Seiler was a defensive end for Snyder from during the 2004 and 2005 seasons and now is coaching the same position as the 2013 season is set to open. 
 
Then and now, he says, "He is so consistent and he has that constant message of his '16 Goals for Success.' Be a little bit better, be a little bit better, be a little bit better is just a given with coach." 
 
No one knows the Wildcat coach better than Del Miller, who was the first assistant coach hired by Snyder following the 1988 season. 
 
From the first 17-year Snyder era, to the second stint now entering its fifth season, Miller says, "Not that he didn't have a player awareness earlier, but I think there is more of an appreciation today of what players are accomplishing after they leave here. He takes pride in the type of person they have become and the type of family man they are. 
 
"He seems to be a little more in touch not only in the big picture of football, but the big picture of life." 
 
But smiling, Miller will tell you that Coach Snyder is what he is. 
 
"It's his persistence and consistency that separates him from other coaches," said Miller. "When most players or coaches say, 'I've done everything I can, I'm tired, I can't give any more,' coach will ask for more. 
 
"When other teams are taking a breather, he asks for more. He's never complacent," Miller continued. "He's never happy with where we are. He has that constant pursuit of excellence and has that ability to push coaches and players to give more." 
 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.