2008 K-State Hall of Fame Class Announced

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State Department of Athletics will honor two outstanding individuals and icons of Kansas State as Dr. Jon Wefald and Coach Bill Snyder will be inducted into its Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, athletics director Bob Krause announced Monday.


The class is the ninth in the history of the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame, including the charter class of 1990, and will be honored during the weekend of K-State’s football game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 27.


“We are truly indebted to these two outstanding men of K-State,” Krause said. “Jon and Bill have been so influential to the university and athletics department and this is the ideal opportunity to honor them both.”


Few collegiate presidents have been as well recognized nationally for improving the athletic and academic programs on a campus as K-State's Wefald, who announced his retirement this past May, effective at the end of the 2008-09 school year.


Wefald has always understood that athletics is the window through which many people view the university. He structured his administration such that athletics became an integral part of K-State, and he skillfully utilized the successes of K-State Athletics as a platform to gain national recognition for its academic and student scholarship achievements. He is widely known for his availability to meet with prospective student-athletes, as well as the many student scholars, debate team and judging team champions.


Wefald, who has helped develop a number of nationally-ranked athletic teams in the Big Eight and Big 12, played a key role in the organization of the new Big 12 Conference in 1995-1996 and in K-State becoming a member of the league. He also was a key component in the hiring of Snyder as the school’s football coach in 1989.


Lauded by publications from the Christian Science Monitor to Sports Illustrated to USA Today, and by broadcasters like Paul Harvey, the accomplishments during Wefald's tenure have been well noted in the national media. USA Today called these achievements the "Miracle in Manhattan."

Under his leadership, K-State has added about 2.2 million square feet of new university buildings, including a new library, a new art museum, and a nationally acclaimed plant science building. In addition, during the Wefald years enrollment has increased from about 13,500 to more than 23,000, and K-State has built a healthy endowment program and established a national presence in athletics. With Wefald at the helm, K-State's total research funding increased to record numbers. The university returns nearly $17 for every $1 of state funding it receives.

Since his arrival in 1986, K-State leads the nation's public universities in the total number of Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater and Udall scholarship winners. K-State students have won more Truman scholarships, more Goldwater scholarships and more Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships than any other public university in the nation. By recognizing and encouraging excellence, Wefald has helped K-State achieve the pinnacle of success.


The architect of arguably the greatest turnaround in the history of college football, Snyder retired in November of 2005 after 17 seasons as the head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats.


Named the 32nd head football coach at Kansas State on Nov. 30, 1988, Snyder amassed a 136-68-1 (.666) record with the Wildcats, including a 75-53-1 (.585) mark in Big 8/12 games. His 136 victories are more than triple the man in second place on K-State’s all-time coaching victories list (Mike Ahearn, 39 wins).

But to fully understand the turnaround ushered in by Snyder at Kansas State one must only consider that the Wildcats were in the midst of an 0-26-1 run when he was hired. It also took K-State 51 seasons (1938-1988) to total just 130 wins, while the 12 head coaches prior to Snyder's arrival in Manhattan combined to win just 116 games from 1945-1988.

For his efforts, Snyder was named the national coach of the year in 1991, 1994 and 1998. He was also voted by his peers as conference coach of the year five times.

Among all active coaches, Snyder finished his career ranked seventh in career winning percentage and 12th in career victories. Over his final 13 years at K-State, Snyder’s Wildcats were even better, posting a 118-42-1 (.736) record from 1993-2005 for the fifth-best overall record in Division 1-A during that span.

During his tenure at K-State, Snyder’s teams were perennially ranked among the nation’s elite, including achieving the program’s first No. 1 ranking in November of 1998. In all, Kansas State teams finished 11 of his final 13 seasons ranked in the AP Top 20, including a six-year stretch during which K-State finished each season in the Top 10.

The 14th-fastest coach in the history of college football to win 100 games, Snyder coached 33 AP All-Americans and produced 42 NFL Draft picks during his tenure at K-State.

The official induction of the 2008 class will take place during ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 26. The class will also be recognized at halftime of the game against the Ragin’ Cajuns the following day.


Tickets for the dinner and induction ceremony can be purchased by calling the Kansas State Athletics Department at (785) 532-6912.


Ticket options for the Louisiana-Lafayette football game include a Family Four Pack for $99 and military discounts for $25 per ticket. To purchase tickets, go to k-statesports.com or call the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS, beginning July 15.


Check K-State’s official website, k-statesports.com, for additional information and promotions as the induction ceremony draws nearer.