“Bill Snyder: My Football Life and the Rest of the Story” by Bill Snyder with C. Scott Fritchen, Triumph Books, 372 pages, $30.
Bill Snyder received the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner in 2021. The award is given to “one winner on and off the field” each year. Nebraska readers of the longtime Kansas State football coach’s new autobiography will certainly notice the similarities between the two legendary coaches.
Both men had more than 200 victories at their respective universities, were mutually respected by their coaching peers, and were more concerned with preparing their players for success in life than their winning and losing records. Both Osborne and Snyder have established statewide mentorship programs for students in need.
In 1989, Snyder became coach of Kansas State, which was considered the worst Division IA football program, had gone 30 games without a win, and was dubbed “Futility U” by Sports Illustrated magazine. In 2018, after a three-year hiatus during an early retirement in 2005, Snyder retired for the second time with Kansas State firmly established as one of the most respected Division IA football programs. from the country.
People also read…
Guided by its “sixteen goals for success”, its teams have become famous for their “family values”. The economic fortunes of Kansas State University and the surrounding Manhattan community also benefited enormously from the team’s success in the field.
The book focuses primarily on football with many contemporary coaches, including four from Nebraska, mentioned prominently. However, Snyder also discusses the toll of his own obsessive work schedule, the tragedies that affected his program and his family, and his diagnosis of throat cancer in 2017.
A 12-page section of color photographs accompanies the text. The footage includes one of linebacker Travis Ochs’ infamous 1998 “no-call masks” on Eric Crouch, sealing a Wildcat victory.
In summary, any college football fan should enjoy the story of Bill Snyder’s unlikely rise from humble beginnings as the only child of a single mother in St. Joseph, Missouri, to the pinnacle of fame. coaches. His persistence in adhering to his own “sixteen goals for success” will be appreciated by anyone in the Midwest, regardless of the color of jersey worn by his favorite team.
J. Kemper Campbell, MD, is a retired Lincoln eye doctor who bought his first home in Manhattan before moving to Big Red Country.