KSU coach Bill Snyder sends KU QB Ryan Willis a note of encouragement


Say what you will about Kansas State coach Bill Snyder and his dominance of the Jayhawks over the years. That has not taken away from the man's ability to operate as a classy individual.

We've seen plenty of instances of this throughout the years and we recently got another one when KU quarterback Ryan Willis, who just wrapped up his freshman season as KU's all-time leading freshman passer, posted to Twitter a note he got from Snyder following last week's 45-14 K-State win in the season finale.

Here's the note:

Now before you go off about the purple ink or the fact that Snyder should stick to worrying about his own players, remember that Willis' dad, Steve, is a former K-State football player and the young man, though not seriously, was recruited by K-State out of Bishop Miege High School.

The Snyder way has long been synonymous with "family" and this kind of gesture shows what that's all about.

Like it or hate it — like him or hate him — you have to at least tip your cap to Snyder's sportsmanship and the fact that receiving the note clearly meant a lot to one of the KU football program's most promising young players.


Kent Gaylor 6 years, 8 months ago

It is classy.

A word on whether all the coaching staff will be back for next year?

Matt Tait 6 years, 8 months ago

Haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise.

Michael Maris 6 years, 8 months ago

Matt, I know that football stories are going to become less and less (now).

But, I have a question for you. What happened to Traevohn Wrench @ Butler County Community College? I've seen that he's not even on their 2015 roster. Did he get injured this year? Just curious.

Matt Tait 6 years, 8 months ago

He's been off KU's radar for quite some time now and, from what I heard, he ran into some problems at Butler and left the team... Sad story for a kid who had a ton of talent and all kinds of opportunities. Don't know him personally, but it sounds like he would've had a hard time making it at KU even if he did get here because of a number of issues ranging from academics to off-the-field stuff.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 8 months ago

The 70's called and they want their facemask back.

Jim Bredemeier 6 years, 8 months ago

meanwhile he sent a thank you card to the punter

Brian Skelly 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe its because im from St. Louis, and not Kansas, but ive always liked Bill Snyder. I havent liked what his team has done to ours of course. I always thought that his "play as many cupcakes as you can" scheduling leaves something to be desired, but it has led K-State from the depths to decency, to even a handful of years of dominance. If you can recruit kids to come to Manhattan, your doing something right. And he's done it for a long time. And things like this note to Willis arent uncommon either. It's a cool story.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 8 months ago

I've always liked Bill Snyder and liked the classy way he handles himself. A first class act.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 8 months ago

Snyder will go down as one of the best college football coaches of all time.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 8 months ago

Snyder's legacy is an interesting one. He turned around the worst program in the country, he won 11 games something like 6 years in a row, but he also oversaw the decline of the program at the end of his first tenure and now again at the end of his second tenure. In 24 years, he's won/tied for 3 conference championships with no national titles.

Has he been a great coach? Stupid question. Where he ranks among the greats, though, is an interesting question. Is there a point where you have to push the program over the top to be mentioned among the best?

In many ways, he's a one-off. It's difficult to compare him, at least in modern times, to other coaches. I would put him in the second-tier of coaches because he never reached the pinnacle, and didn't win that many championships. That's a pretty good place to be, though.

I'd have taken his 24-year career in Lawrence, in a heartbeat.

Phil Leister 6 years, 8 months ago

Snyder does this quite often. If you do a google search you can see pictures of various letters he's written to many other players and coaches. This doesn't detract from the letter he sent Willis. Very classy.

Len Shaffer 6 years, 8 months ago

Very impressive. Matt, you say "like him or hate him," but it's hard to imagine anyone actually hating him, unless they're just jealous. And I say that as someone who's incredibly frustrated by the beatings his team has regularly handed down to the 'Hawks.

Ben Berglund 6 years, 8 months ago

Of course the K-State match-up is a strong rivalry, but I don't think I've ever heard any KU alum speak badly of Snyder. I wouldn't really describe their fans as classy (think "F*** KU" chants, HCBS getting pinned against the bench, 'Mari getting checked by the videographer, etc), but think Snyder has been great both for them and for the conference.

Lucas Town 6 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget our "rip his f***ing head off" chant? It goes both ways. They wouldn't call us classy either.

Chris Bruning 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm just surprised the bottom of the note doesn't say Bill Snyder Family Complex 2201 Bill Snyder Family Avenue Bill Snyder, Ks

Clara Westphal 6 years, 8 months ago

After the KU-KState game. Coach Snyder went over and talked to Clint Bowen. I am sure he was encouraging him, too.

Joe Ross 6 years, 8 months ago

Why was there no news of Maquis Smith's decommitment from Kansas football? Maybe we're figuring that bad news is not what Kansas fans need right now.

Joe Ross 6 years, 8 months ago

I met Tom Osborne in the 2007-2008 season. I was dating a girl in Nebraska and we went to the DeVaney center in Lincoln to watch the Hawks take on the Huskers (they had not bolted yet). Turns out my ex's father, known as "Duke", played against Osborne in college. In 2007 Duke was suffering from major complications of diabetes: foot ulcers, kidney problems, eye problems, gastropathy, vasculopathy...the whole nine. His days were dwindling to a close.

At the game I saw Tom, bedecked in his ever-present red suit coat, and I went over and sat next to him. I told him how even though I was a lifelong Jayhawk, I respected what he did for college football because he too was act. After some exchanges, I told him about Duke and his deteriorating health. Tom asked me for his number and about a week later he called Duke and the two spoke for an hour or more. Duke told me that he was very glad for the opportunity to speak to him after decades of no contact.

Point of all of this being that football coaches are in the position of making meaningful connections with people that will touch the remainder of their lives.

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