Aug 30, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The architect of the greatest turnaround in college football history will forever be enshrined at the stadium that bears his own name as K-State unveiled a statue of head coach Bill Snyder today as part of the West Stadium Center dedication celebration.
The 11.5-foot monument constructed of bronze and granite was sculpted by Kansas City’s Spencer Schubert of E.S. Schubert Commercial Sculpture Studios and Leopold Gallery. With consultation and assistance from Sharon Snyder and the five Snyder children, the project has been in the works for the past year with the final 1,800-pound bronze statue being constructed in six months.
“Coach Snyder is one of the most legendary head coaches in the history of college football and has transformed K-State Athletics, Kansas State University, the Manhattan community and the college football landscape with his tremendous leadership,” Athletics Director John Currie said. “We appreciate the terrific work of Spencer Schubert and Sharon’s behind-the-scenes efforts on the project as we deservingly recognize one of the greatest football coaches of all time.”
The statue, located just outside the main entrance of the new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, depicts the head coach in his signature sideline pose complete with his customary purple jacket, turtleneck, khakis, felt tip purple pen, notepad and most significantly his NIKE Cortez tennis shoes.
Family has become synonymous with K-State football and Snyder and is exhibited on the base of the statue which includes handprints of each of Snyder’s immediate family members. The granite pedestal displays the family theme on each of its four sides with various quotes and messages representing the Snyder family, K-State football family, the Jack Vanier family and all of K-State Nation.
Named the 32nd head football coach at K-State on Nov. 30, 1988, and again as the 34th on Nov. 24, 2008, Snyder has amassed a 170-85-1 (.669) record during his tenure with the Wildcats, including a 97-65-1 (.598) mark in Big 8/12 games. His 170 victories are the fourth-most among active FBS coaches who and are more than triple the man in second place on K-State’s all-time coaching victories list.
But to fully understand the turnaround ushered in by Snyder at Kansas State one must only consider that the Wildcats were in the midst of an 0-26-1 run when he was hired. It also took K-State 51 seasons (1938-1988) to total just 130 wins, while the 12 head coaches prior to Snyder's arrival in Manhattan combined to win just 116 games from 1945-1988.
A sure-fire hall of famer, Snyder’s unprecedented success in 21 years at Kansas State has not gone unnoticed. He has been named the National Coach of the Year on five occasions (1991, 1994, 1998, 2011, 2012). He has won the prestigious Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award twice (1998, 2012) and been a finalist for the Bear Bryant/FWAA National Coach of the Year Award in 1993, 1995, 2011, 2012 before winning in 1998.
K-State opens the 2013 season tonight against North Dakota State as the nation will be tuned to FOX Sports 1 and more than 50,000 Wildcat fans will be in attendance when the new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium debuts.