Bill Snyder reveals he went 'back and forth' on retirement to ESPN

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder stands on the field before an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
By  | 

(WIBW) - For the first time since he retired back in December, Bill Snyder has publicly commented on stepping away from Kansas State football.

The Wildcat legend spoke to ESPN's Chris Low in a story that was published on Wednesday. In it, Snyder reveals how he struggled a bit with finally deciding to end his coaching career.

"I had emotions both ways, whether it was the right time to walk away or to stay on and try to get the program back to where we all wanted it," Snyder told ESPN. "I wrestled with it considerably. One day, I'd feel one way. Then the next day, I'd feel another way.

"It was back and forth. When you get to that point [in age], you question can you do justice to either side of the equation."

The other question hanging over his retirement was if it was all up to Snyder or if KSU told him it was time to move on. In the original news release announcing the his retirement, the College Football Hall of Fame member had no quotes and never spoke to the media about the decision until this story with Low.

"There were certain things I wouldn't share that we had dialogue about," Snyder told ESPN on if the school pushed him out. "It's certainly everybody's right to do what they feel is the best thing to do. I can appreciate that. But rarely does it end for any of us [coaches] the way we'd prefer it to."

The man who transformed Kansas State football had made it known before he wanted to keep the program in the hands of his family. Sean Snyder, his son and longtime assistant, had been his preferred choice.

"Sean knows more about the Kansas State football program than anybody on the face of the earth, including me," Snyder said in the story. "I trusted him with so much for a long time. He kind of ran the program.

"He proved his worth on the football field, too, as national special-teams coach of the year. It would have been a good thing, but it wasn't to be."

With all that said, Snyder is supporting new Wildcat head coach Chris Klieman. He's made it clear that he won't be hanging over the first-year man at K-State and even left the former North Dakota State head coach coach a congratulatory note on his latest FCS national title win before he left.

"I told Coach Klieman the day he was introduced that I would help him any way I can," Snyder said. "Nobody wants somebody who's been there before hanging around. The last thing I want to do is get in [Klieman's] hair, but I can assure you that nobody wants to see K-State do better than me."

Snyder is the winningest coach in Kansas State football history. He led the program to two Big 12 titles, two national No. 1 rankings and 19 of its 21 bowl appearances in two coaching stints from 1989-2005 and 2009-2019.