SE: Congrats, Coach Bill Snyder | Part 2

K-State Sports Extra is in New York City this week covering K-State head coach Bill Snyder’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Through this three-part series, K-State Sports Extra will focus on three aspects of the beloved Wildcat head coaches’ life: football, friends and family. To read Part 1 | A Timeless Message, please click here

It’s all About Family

NEW YORK, New York – Yesterday evening Bill Snyder was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The honor comes to the Wildcats’ head football coach after spending 24-years (and counting) with a program he once saved from the brink of extinction.  

When Bill Snyder came to K-State in 1989, its football team was labeled ‘Futility U’ after six losing seasons and going 27 games without a win. However, it didn’t take long for Snyder to turn things around and, since then, he has led K-State to 193 wins, 17 bowl games and won two Big 12 Championships.

While K-State wouldn’t be where it is today without its Hall of Fame coach, Snyder wouldn’t be where he is today without his family.

Time and time again during the past few days in New York City celebrating his newest honor, Snyder has told question askers that his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is not about him. 

There are so many people – his coaches, his players, his friends – that have helped him along the way, yet none have helped him more than his family. 

“It doesn’t happen without them,” Snyder responded when asked who he gives thanks to the most. “All of them. Everybody in my personal family has been more than amazing in regards to how they handle everything, and they have been there for me whenever I have needed them.”

So, making this week even more fantastic than it already was for Snyder, was the fact that his entire family – his wife Sharon, all of his children, Sean, Shannon, Meredith, Ross and Whitney, his grandchildren, Sydney, Katherine, Tate, Matthew, Alexis, Gavin, Kadin and Tylin and even his great grandchild D.J. – were present for last night’s induction ceremony. 

“People always ask me what it’s like to have him as a dad, and my first response is just that, ‘He’s just my dad,’ because that’s exactly who he is to us. He’s a father that cares for all of us, that loves us and supports us. He’s our biggest fan,” said Snyder’s daughter and former K-State equestrian student-athlete Whitney Hydeman. “So for him to be in the Hall of Fame, it’s mind blowing. It’s amazing. It’s hard to put into words.” 

“He just deserves it so much,” she continued with a smile from ear-to-ear. “It just couldn’t have happened to a better man. He inspires so many people, and we’re just so blessed to have him in our lives.”

Snyder’s life as a family man and his life as a football coach are finely intertwined.

“My life and my profession are virtually one in the same,” he said yesterday afternoon – but it’s made for some great, great memories. 

From the many times his kids visited his office and wrote up football plays to his grandkids who now do the same, football has always been a part of the Snyder family’s life. 

Snyder has had the opportunity to not only coach his son, Sean, but also coach with Sean. Sean played for the Wildcats from 1991-92 where he earned All-America status as a punter, and has been working with the team for the past 21 years. He is currently the Wildcats’ Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator and Director of Football Operations and, according to Bill Snyder, Sean “does all the things that go on in a program that no one knows about but make all the difference.”

While the two are as professional as it gets, Snyder did reveal a time coaching Sean when a little more of his “dad” side came out. 

“This is on a personal note, but I remember an Oklahoma State ballgame where, up until that point, Sean had been the leading punter in the nation,” Snyder said while reminiscing over some of the most memorable times as the Wildcat head coach. “Well, we had to kick into the wind 12 times that ballgame. His average plummeted. I remember that well because I also remember I was mad at our offense because we couldn’t move the ball.” 

From the beginning to today, through the game of football, the family has come together, made countless memories and shared numerous special moments. 

“My absolute favorite moment in his career happened just recently at the West Virginia game,” said Snyder’s oldest daughter Shannon. “He and Sean were in the tunnel talking, then they hugged and someone sent me a picture of it. That right there was probably one of the most special moments. The picture brought tears to my eyes. I think it’s been so special to have Sean with him. They have such a special bond, and it’s just amazing for them to be able to enjoy it together.”

That moment in the tunnel came following K-State’s 24-23 win over the Mountaineers last weekend. After an up and down season for the Wildcats, the team earned bowl eligibility and finished the regular season 3-0. Sean said it was a moment of relief and joy; it was a moment he cherished.

“Everything day to day is so work orientated, even when we’re talking and we’re not necessarily at work,” he said. “There’s so much stuff to be covered work wise, so there’s not a lot of those moments, but that one, honestly, was just one of those moments.”

Overall, this week of celebrating Snyder’s newest Hall of Fame title in New York City has been one the Snyder family, the entire Snyder family, will remember forever. 

“For him to be honored this way, it’s just awesome because he’s given so much of his life,” said Sean. “He cares a great deal about the student-athletes and the program and he’s never done anything in an unselfish mode. I don’t think you see that enough these days, and I think being honored in the Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of all awards. It’s extremely humbling and we’re just grateful to have the opportunity that this happened.”


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-Stewart or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.