Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Bill Snyder has eye for talent


Tim Biere picked KU over Kansas State

Kansas tight end Tim Biere gave his reasons for picking the Jayhawks over their in-state rival.

Study the recruitment of Kansas University offensive coordinator Chuck Long as a quarterback from Wheaton North High in Illinois for a hint at why Hayden Fry and Bill Snyder became such fruitful coaching trees.

Long played in a running program in high school and did not receive his first recruiting call until Thanksgiving Day of his senior year. Iowa, Northwestern and Northern Illinois, then a Division I-AA school, were the only schools that recruited him. He developed into the best quarterback in the nation, a Heisman Trophy runner-up to Bo Jackson.

Fry was the head coach, Bill Snyder the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Iowa then.

The retired Fry and the out-of-retirement Snyder shared a gift — the ability to evaluate high school talent and accurately project how it translates to college — that ranks as the most underrated qualification for a successful college football coach.

After identifying Long as worthy of a scholarship, the rest fell into place for the Hawkeyes.

“The place was great, but it’s the people you’re attracted to,” said Long, whose recruitment to Iowa was started by Snyder and closed by Fry. “They just had great salesmanship. They were coming off 20 non-winning seasons in a row, but it didn’t feel like it when you met them.”

Snyder’s not a fast-talking salesman, but when a coach believes in the potential of a recruit, that resonates with the recruit.

“He’s really good behind closed doors,” Long said of Snyder. “He doesn’t get excited in his voice when he talks to you, even when he’s recruiting. But it was really the combination of him and Hayden Fry.”

Snyder was Long’s position coach at Iowa and, in title, was Fry’s offensive coordinator, though Fry called the plays, Long said.

In addition to Snyder, such big-name coaches as Barry Alvarez (formerly of Wisconsin), Bret Bielema (Wisconsin), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Jim Leavitt (formerly of South Florida), Long, Dan McCarney (North Texas), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) and Mike Stoops (formerly of Arizona) all worked for Fry. Two of the biggest turnarounds in college football history were authored by Fry and Snyder, who is in his second revival act at K-State.

“It was a magical staff,” Long said. “You just knew going in there, even before the winning started, that something was going to happen. I think it all stems from (how) Hayden knows people. And he would hire the best chemistry staff, rather than just get the best X’s and O’s staff. As a collective unit, they were very powerful because you felt the chemistry and the closeness they had.”

The same goes for Snyder’s staffs, Long said.

“The Bill Snyder/Hayden Fry combination has been a powerful influence on me,” he said. “Those were my mentors at a very impressionable age, as a college kid.”

He shared what he stole from Snyder, to whom, he said, he has drawn close through the years.

“He’s very even-keeled,” Long said. “He didn’t raise his voice much. He talked to you more from an educational standpoint. He’s not a yeller or screamer.”

Snyder proves low-key can work, as long as the right talent judgments are made in recruiting.


Randy Bombardier 2 years, 5 months ago

Unlike most posters here, I like K-State. Some of my best friends are wildcats. It is going to be a good game. Probably much closer than last year. I think that was a fluke.


hihawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Longtimehawk, I have to agree with you all the way and Mark M. taking over for Snyder would be a winner. Kansas ST. would go after Mark if Bill would retire. What a program it would be with Mangino as head coach at Kansas ST. I believe that Mark would have rather had Kansas ST. to go to after leaving Oklahoma but, new that Bill would not be leaving soon. If Mark gets in KST. I look for him to turn their program into another football school to contend for a NC like Synder did.


longtimehawk 2 years, 5 months ago

gill has shown that he can't coach, you got to hand it to Bill Snyder as he has taken other coaches players and made something out of them, not like gill who has done nothing. Better bring Mangino back, KU and eat crow.


KWufan 2 years, 5 months ago

Correct me if I am wrong, hasn't bill snyder lived and died by the junior college recruit? So Keegs is saying that he should be praised for what development all the non qualifying football talent in the juco system brings him? Sure Darren Sproles, umm, he's what a non starting running back in the nfl and your proud of that? Every year an out of conference schedule that is almost always the weakest in america so u can claim enough wins to make bowl games every year, your really proud of that? Can we please stop the in-fighting of this great state of Kansas and stop gloating on another schools sports website, that actually cares enough about its fans to actually have one to post on. Seriously, football is way better than basketball when the ncaa tournament is considered the best sporting event every year? Jesus, no wonder everyone thinks KState is full of dummies, its called reality, look into it.


Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 5 months ago

Heres an interesting article about the real rivalry... KU/Mizzou made the "dirtiest rivalry" list (Mizzou gets 76% of the fouls). Wasnt sure where else to post it.


Hammertoe 2 years, 5 months ago

The facts: Football is the "only sport that matters" from a national percpective in regards to TV revenue and conference realignment. KU is ranked dead last in all D 1 football programs while their instate rival is ranked #12 in polls. K-State will go to a bowl game no matter what happens the rest of their season. For the third straight year, student enrollment increased at K-State while decreased at KU. IF K-State wins on Saturday, the ESPN Game Day crew will be in Manhattan for a nationally televised game against OU. Forbes did rank Manhattan, KS as one of the best places to live. KU is jealous their bitter rival Mizzou has conference realignment options and will mostly join the SEC. Kansasans should be happy to have 2 Big 12 teams in the state with our state's population less than the Dallas Metro Plex.

Having said that, I'm expecting a great college football game on Saturday as the KU team will be playing for their coaches job.....


Kirk 2 years, 5 months ago

Anyone else notice the conspicuous absence of Gill in this article?

Long could have said, "And that's the kind of chemistry Coach Gill is building here at KU" or some such.


Anyhoo, Snyder is great at doing what nobody's done at KU, and which we all need and want. Building a winner on a mastery of fundamentals and discipline.

Mangino and his staff did a GREAT job spotting and developing talent that was overlooked by others.

By the way, without Hatch this Saturday, I think we will be utterly squashed.


Tom Gillaspie 2 years, 5 months ago

Bill Snyder has an eye for talent - Wow, what a news flash! Keegan is still a hack. Bill Self has an eye for talent, as did Roy Williams. All three are great coaches and able to direct that talent into winning programs. Agree or disagree about who is better and why, it is good for the state of Kansas if both schools have successful athletic programs. I personally believe it is more fun when games are competitive and not lop-sided. One thing all people from the state of Kansas, KU and K-State fans alike, should be able to agree on - Missouri sucks.
Have a great day.


scraptown 2 years, 5 months ago

You guys can't really blame wildcat fans for getting on this site, there's more articles praising Snyder on this site than any other.


scraptown 2 years, 5 months ago

I always try to pull for the hawks when they're not playing the cats, but hawk fans make it tough not to hate them. I know ku couldn't hardly think straight with all the conferences knocking at their door. Ku was floating in the same boat down the Kansas river that K-state was. Ku is in no better condition in re-alignment than K-state. The only place that said otherwise are the posters on this forum.


scraptown 2 years, 5 months ago

K-state has a top 25 football team (apparently the only sport that matters) and a rapidly rising basketball team with a rich basketball tradition. The college is also located in a city that is on multiple "best places in the county to live" lists.

Ku has a legendary basketball tradition, fields an elite basketball program and a terrible football program (the only sport that matters) and what few supporters the football program has turn their back on the team at first mention of basketball. The college is located in what is referred to as a "bedroom community" located between Kansas City and Topeka.

Why is being a ku fan so great and being a K-state fan so terrible, I'd say their prospects are looking pretty good.

…and if they manage to get Leavitt (rumors) as head coach when Snyder retires, it's a safe bet that winning would continue for the cat's football program.


Robert Brock 2 years, 5 months ago

Go back and check out the football staffs that Pepper Rodgers assembled during his brief time as the KU coach. Something to behold!


BABBOY 2 years, 5 months ago


Here is the deal. I did not go to either KU or KSU. When I was kid, I liked KU. A lot. I could name the starters at KU under in the 70s and early 80s for example. You see I thought all KU people were like my dad. Respectful and considerate of people.

But, then I went to college and then started working had to deal with KU people on a regular basis, I realized that many KU fan under the age of say 50 were just snobbish punks unworthy of any respect. .

I am pretty liberal so might think I would be into the KU thing. But, the reality is Johnson County has destroyed KU and I cannot stand snotty punks. I did not tolerate them in any way as a kid, but professional concepts and things like jail force me to tolerate them now.

What gets me, is when I see some skinny short dude with an altitude talking smack and saying things like “we” beat you 25 years in roll in basketball it confuses me. First, off, basketball is lame sport and I do not really care. Secondly, no, Roy Williams and Bill Self beat KSU all those years. You brownnosers did not win anything. You just worship them and gain false self worth from jumping on the band wagon.

I played football. So, when Bill Snyder came a long and brought the concept of a winning football program to the State of Kansas, I became a KSU fan. I am proud to be on his band wagon because he brings class to the sport and to the State of Kansas.

(For example, all thought not a basketball dude, I respected Roy Williams and respect Bill Self for the same reasons).

AS for the game this week, I have no idea what will happen Saturday. I think the KU game is dangerous because KSU may look past them and it would make their season to beat KSU when they are ranked so high.

In other words, to summarize my main point, before Johnson County took over, KU was a cool place. Not so much now.


KGphoto 2 years, 5 months ago

"Coach of the Century". If Barry Switzer said it, it must be true buddy.

Now let's go kick his @ss!!


Keith Hummel 2 years, 6 months ago

OK, OK - Coach Snyder is a legend. I agree - we all agree. Can this be the last Snyder worship article PLEASE? I guess I'm a strange KU fan, but I would rather read about how we are going to defeat the legend on Saturday.


jhox 2 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I think Snyder's bigger gift is his ability to develop talent, and get more out of guys than anyone believes they're capable of. If you look at their roster, they aren't particularly athletic (a few notable exceptions aside, such as that linebacker, Brown.)

Snyder's teams always get better over the course of the season, something you can't say about most programs. He's taken several "ho hum" QB's and turned them into above average performers.

I, for one, will be glad when he finally retires (for good) and we can resume our habit of kicking their butts on an annual basis. Until then, we'll just have to settle for the 2 for 1 trade we typically enjoy where we beat them soundly twice in hoops and they beat us in FB.


BC5 2 years, 6 months ago

K-State fans... if Snyder lives forever you will have a good program. KU has an Orange Bowl win to go with your Fiesta Bowl win, and KU has a better football tradition if you compare the two through history.

1998 will never happen again. Oh yeah, and that season ended with a loss to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl. Enjoy your meaningless bowl games for the next 3-5 years and then going right back to being Manhattan, KS.

See you on the court.


texashawk10 2 years, 6 months ago

So what I'm getting out of this is that having a stoic demeanor and rarely, if ever, raising your voice while infusing strong Christian morals actually works at the college level for building a good team. I was under the impression from KU "fans" that the only way to be a successful college head coach was to be a stark raving lunatic on the sidelines and locker room like Mike Stoops or Bo Pelini to name a couple of coaches who use that method.

If you think Gill is a bad coach because he's a poor X's and O's coach or isn't great at making adjustments that's a valid and appropriate concern, but to say that he's a poor coach because he because doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve or he's trying infuse strong morals into his team is a complete load of crap because Bill Snyder has proven that style of coaching can be very successful at a school with very little history of success.


KState_Wildcats 2 years, 6 months ago

You better believe Snyder has an eye for talent. Ever heard of a player called Sproles???? We are reading each one of your articles and noting your fan comments. You are a laughable football fanbase. Get ready for your stadium to be full of purple because we bought nearly all of your tickets. Get ready for some national TV football Lawrence!

Our loyal Cats can't wait til Saturday! KU is awful in the 3rd and 4th quarter! Awful! No halftime adjustments! LMAO! Dont you worry Snyder will make his. Will be a lot worse than 59-7 this year! EMAW!


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