Bill Snyder explains how his Kansas State journey began

Bill Snyder talked with a fan during a Junction City appearance this week
Bill Snyder talked with a fan during a Junction City appearance this week(JC Post)
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 1:11 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (JC Post) - This is part two in a series on former K-State football coach Bill Snyder. This story focuses on how Snyder was contacted and then became interested in becoming the head football at Kansas State.

Former Kansas State University Athletic Director Steve Miller was persistent in his pursuit of Bill Snyder for the Wildcat head football coaching job. At the time Snyder was the offensive coordinator for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

During a presentation to the Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel in Junction City this week the coach humorously related how Miller had called Snyder multiple times to see if he would come to Manhattan to interview for the Kansas State coaching job, but Snyder had always said no. Miller didn’t give up, explained the coach, who remembered a Sunday afternoon in Iowa City when two men that he didn’t know came to the door of his home.  One introduced himself as Steve Miller. “He asked if he could come in and of course, we invited him in and he went through everything again.”

During the two-hour visit, Miller posed a question that was explained by Snyder and had the audience of retired educators chuckling. “Coach do you have a spare bedroom upstairs, and I said why do you ask? He said I’m not leaving until you decide that you will at least come to Manhattan and see if it’s a job that you would like to have.”

Snyder game in and made the trip to Manhattan. “I flew down to Manhattan with no intent to accept the job but I wanted to see if I couldn’t get Steve, what do you say, off my back.” At K-State Miller took Snyder into the Legends Room which was full of people ranging from professors and administrators to students and other community members all of whom were trying to tell the coach why he should be at Kansas State University.  Snyder said he pulled University President Jon Wefald and asked him if could arrange for someone to take him on campus. “I want to go spend an hour on campus. He said why do you want to do that? I said I just want to go see the campus.”

Snyder noted that he was given a ride to the middle of the campus where he spent the next hour stopping people who didn’t know who he was and visited with them. “I didn’t tell them why I was there and I just asked questions about the community, about the students, about the university, about the athletic department, about anything and everything that I could think of.” Upon returning to Wefald Snyder told him he would visit with his family. “I may be interested. He said what changed your mind and I said the people. I was so impressed by the gracious people that I met, students, faculty, visitors to the campus and that’s what took me to Kansas State University.”

Snyder would guide Wildcat football to a pair of Big 12 championships and numerous bowl game victories during two stints as head coach at Kansas State.

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