University President Dr. Jon Wefald Quotes

President Jon Wefald
Opening statement...
“We had a good weekend. All of our teams won. On Saturday night around 6:30, I got a call from the head coach of our academic advisors. His name is Jim Hohenbary and he told me that we won a Rhodes Scholarship by the name of Vincent Hofer, from Franklin, Kan., and that is our eighth Rhodes Scholarship since 1986. That’s just about as many as any other public university in America. Then on Thursday, we were notified that one of our professors, Michael Wesch, had been selected by the Carnegie Institute as the National Professor of the Year for the Nation’s Doctoral Universities. I don’t know if that’s happened at another university in the time span of three to four days to have a Rhodes Scholar and have the National Teacher of the Year for the Nations Doctoral Research Universities. I mentioned that because K-State is about academic excellence. We have a great faculty, an outstanding student body, and we are doing very well.

“I know today is about football, and just think back to 1988 when we were right here in this very room and we announced that Bill Snyder will be our new head football coach. Now I dare say that there were many people that thought this might work or might not work. He’s an unknown offensive coordinator from the University of Iowa. People thought, well, maybe we’ll win five or six games, and maybe every five or six years, we’ll win seven. Well, that didn’t happen. Bill Snyder assembled a great team of coaches and pretty soon, we were in bowl games 11 straight bowl games. I’m sure that most of the people here know that we are one of the few universities that have won 11 games in five out of six years. We know now that in 2008 it is hard to win just eight games or nine, yet Bill Snyder won 11 games is just five out of six years and played in 11 straight bowl games.

“What does all this mean? It means that Bill Snyder is a person that focuses, is highly disciplined, hires great coaches, and gets it done. You remember the coaches that he hired in 1988 and early 1989; no one had ever heard of them. Nobody knew who Bob Stoops was, or Mike Stoops, or Jim Leavitt, or Mark Mangino. They are all head coaches and I would say they are doing pretty well. There’s no doubt in my mind that Bill Snyder is going to assemble another great team of assistant coaches. Some that you’ve heard of and maybe some that you haven’t heard of.

“Bill McCartney said in the 1990s that he could not believe the job that Bill Snyder has done here with this Kansas State team. He (McCartney) turned around Colorado, but he said that Colorado had a winning tradition, and K-State didn’t. The job that Bill Snyder did and was doing was unprecedented.

“You might remember Barry Switzer. Barry was asked in the late 1990s what kind of a coach Bill Snyder was. Was he the coach of the year?’ Barry Switzer said, No, he’s not the coach of the year, he’s not the coach of the decade, he’s the coach of the century.’

“Dick Vermeil said Bill Snyder is such a good coach, I’m glad he’s not in the NFL. While nothing has changed, he is still and excellent coach.

“Now, I’ll fast forward to 2008. There might be some people who think he’s not young enough and can he do it a second time around. Well, I don’t know if you saw it the other day, but Joe Paterno announced that he was going to be around for four more years and he is 82. You might remember Ronald Reagan in his second term, 1984-1988. He started that term at 72. I would guess that many people would say he was one of our better presidents. The republican nominee, John McCain, was 72, and did anybody ever say he wasn’t young enough to hold down the position of President of the United States? Millions of people voted for him, and he got the nomination. I would say that being President of the United State would be a pretty taxing job, wouldn’t you?

“Bill Snyder is young by comparison. He’s young at heart, young of spirit, and the whole question with Coach Snyder is: Does he want to do it? Does he have the fire in the belly? You ask any politician who is going to run for statewide or national office, if you don’t have the fire in the belly, then you’re not going to win. This is the same way with coaching. Some people that act like they’re 40 are 80, and some people that act like they’re 80 are 40; it is mind over matter. You’re talking about somebody that is in very good physical shape and his mind is sharp as a tack, and he is ready to roll.

“I can just tell you, having known Bill for years that he is very excited about this. If Bill Snyder says he’s ready to do this, is there any doubt, and I’ll say it again, there is no doubt, whatsoever, that he cannot do this job? I mean, the coach of the year, nationally, at least three times. The Big 8 Coach of the Year many times, the Big 12 Coach of the Year many times.

He’s still the same great coach. He’s got the energy, the enthusiasm, the discipline, and the focus. He’s going to be putting in seven days a week, 14, 15, or 16 hours a day, no questions about that, period. Amen. Goodnight.

“I am very confident that Bill Snyder, once again, is going to get it done. You’re going to find that he’s going to have outstanding assistant coaches, he’s going to recruit good football players, and we’ve got some good players coming back. We are very, very optimistic that we can get ready to roll. Coach, we are delighted that you are willing to be our new and next football coach, and all I can say is Go K-State.”