July 18, 2007
(CSTV U-WIRE) MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Former Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder often talks about people and relationships when citing what he considers most important.
On Sunday he revisited some of those relationships that helped him in the beginning of his full-time college coaching career.
Snyder was invited to Sherman, Texas, to receive the Coach Joe Spencer Award from Austin College and to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor. The award is an annual recognition of "alumni or former coaches of Austin College for achievement in the coaching profession," according to the college's Web site.
"The school's football program is a small non-scholarship program like most private schools, and competes in the SCAC conference after recently switching from the NAIA," said Vicki Kirby, with the Office of College Relations at Austin College.
Snyder served as an assistant football coach and swimming coach at Austin College from 1974 to 1975. It was his first full-time job coaching at the college level, though he had previously gained some experience as a graduate assistant at the University of Southern California. Looking back, Snyder said he regards his time there as unusual and valuable.
"What I would highlight most is twofold," Snyder said. "First, there were just some really great people to work with there in Sherman.
"Secondly, the young people there were really just playing for a pure love of the game. They have a tremendous academic program there at Austin College, and I really enjoyed the concept of education coming first."
Of the award itself Snyder said he was honored.
"There have been some very notable alumni to go through Austin College," he said. "One that comes to mind is Donnie Duncan who went on to be very successful in his career both at Iowa State and then Oklahoma, and now is part of the top administration for the Big XII Conference.
"There have been quite a few like that at Austin College, and I'm very honored to be in that kind of company."
Prior to accepting the award this last weekend, Snyder said he was excited to see colleagues he hadn't been in touch with.
Snyder said, "I'm very much looking forward to it. It's an opportunity to visit with some people, some of them very dear friends, that I haven't seen in a very long time."