Congratulations, Coach Snyder
Snyder resurrected K-State from the worst program in the nation to a top-25 contender year in and year out since he took the reins of the program in 1989.
He's a five-time national coach of the year honoree and a seven-time conference coach of the year recipient. He's coached the Wildcats to 16 bowl games (11-straight bowls from 1993-2003), to two Big 12 Championships, and, overall, in his 23 years with K-State, he has compiled a 187-94-1 record.
Barry Switzer, now fellow Hall of Fame Coach, once said about Snyder, "he's not the coach of the year, he's not the coach of the decade, he's the coach of the century."
And Switzer couldn't have been more spot-on with that statement.
"We have a set of principles, values, that we try to aspire to," said Snyder on Friday morning at the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame press conference in the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, "and all I'd ask of the young people in our program was to invest themselves in finding a way each and every day of their lives to become better people, better students and better football athletes. Improvement was our goal. It always has been and always will be."
He's simple. He's wise. He's known for, among many things, his hand-written notes, his Styrofoam coffee cups, his sharp-dressed players and his 16 Goals for Success. He's known for his punctuality, his discipline, but most of all, he's known for how much one simple word truly means to him - family.
"You just think of all the people who have invested so much," said Snyder in his opening statement. "My family, my wife, Sharon, and my children Sean, Shannon, Meredith, Ross and Whitney, they have been a tremendous inspiration to me, every one of them, and they sacrifice so much. When you think about those things, this isn't an individual honor, I don't think any of us receive it that way. So many people invested so much in giving me the opportunity just to progress over a period of time.
"I had a mother who I would never be in this room without," continued Snyder. "My mother invested in me, my grandfather, coaches along the way - as a coach you have to reflect upon the wonderful coaches you've had with you, and I've certainly had so many. The wonderful players as young gentlemen and certainly as competitive players on the football field, and a staff, we've had tremendous administration both past and present. Also, the wonderful fan base that we have at Kansas State University, they've been so fantastic."
In all, Snyder has coached 33 All-Americans, 12 Academic All-Americans and has helped K-State have a player drafted into the NFL for 21-consecutive seasons, among the longest streaks in the nation. Since 2011, Snyder has guided K-State to more Big 12 wins than any other team in the league with 27.
Snyder joins former Youngstown State and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as the Class of 2015's coaches to be enshrined and also joins Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Joe Paterno (Penn State) and John Gagliardi (St. John's) as active coaches to be inducted.
Other members of the 2015 class include: Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts, Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, Arizona State linebacker Bob Breunig, Millsaps (Miss.) defensive lineman Sean Brewer, Pittsburgh offensive tackle Ruben Brown, Florida split end Wes Chandler, Notre Dame split end Thom Gatewood, Yale running back Dick Jauron, Michigan State halfback Clinton Jones, Washington offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy, Michigan running back Rob Lytle, Marshall quarterback Michael Payton, Kentucky defensive end Art Still, Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas and Texas running back Ricky Williams.
Snyder and the rest of the Class of 2015 will be inducted during the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria on Dec. 8, 2015.
In addition, here are a few of K-State Sports Extra's favorite quotes from the past year from others on Coach Snyder's success:
JONATHAN TRUMAN, K-State linebacker (2010-14) in the Vanier Football Complex earlier this fall:
"Shortly? I could probably go on and on about him. There's just so much you can say about Coach Snyder. He's just a coach that, what means so much to me is, as a coach he obviously cares about how we do on the field, how we prepare and how we do on the field is his job, but what he makes more important than his job is how we're doing off the field. He uses the game of football to be able to teach this team and this program values that we'll take off the field. That's something that's really important to me, and something I think highly of him for."
MICHAEL BISHOP, K-State quarterback (1997-98) at the K-State Pep Rally in San Antonio, Texas:
"He's legendary. Everybody in the world of college football knows about Coach Snyder and the things that he does. He's a tremendous guy. Everybody loves him - former players, current players - it's a great deal. Every time I see him, he gives me that smile. Those are things that you've just got to be thankful for because not every program is like this. K-State, the things they do, it says a lot for this program."
TERENCE NEWMAN, K-State cornerback (1998-02) at the K-State Spring Game in Manhattan, Kansas:
"That's pops right there. Honestly, I came here as a young boy and I left as a young man. He helped me transition, big time. I owe a lot of my success and my attitude to him. He helped mold me into the man that I am today."
SAMANTHA PONDER, ESPN before K-State took on Auburn in Manhattan:
"A lot of it does have to do with, not necessarily age, but wisdom. He just has a bigger-picture perspective, and I think that's the difference because there are a lot of coaches who can only see one game ahead, maybe just this week or maybe just one year's salary. There's so much turnover that a lot of coaches are worried about that, but Coach Snyder has been there, done that, so he has that wisdom and the big-picture perspective that keeps him from getting caught up in the daily grind that college football is today."
DENNIS DODD, CBSSports.com at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Texas:
"Well, he is the program. I tell people, I was there at that first game in 1989 against Arizona State when K-State lost like 31-to-nothing, but my whole story was how they looked different - they lined up right, they played disciplined. They weren't the better team, but they acted like they belonged on the same field. So, I've seen everything from him working in his office before it was actually completed with three walls and flies buzzing around him to just a few months ago when he hurt his ankle, it was the first time he told me in his life that that's happened to him, to now, that he's at the point where he could become the fourth active college football hall of fame coach, ever - he'll be inducted automatically if he's elected. So, I guess I've seen it all from the ground up and it's been really inspirational."
From K-State Sports Extra, congratulations, Coach Snyder!