MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Big 12 Conference honored some of its former student-athletes who have helped shape the Big 12 into the premier conference in college athletics during the 2008 Big 12 Championship game in Kansas City.
The Big 12 Legends program recognized one football great from each of the 12 schools in the Big 12 Conference and head coach Bill Snyder was Kansas State’s representative.
Snyder retired in November of 2005 after 17 ultra-successful seasons as the head coach at Kansas State and before returning to lead the Wildcat program once again.
Named the 32nd head football coach at Kansas State on Nov. 30, 1988, Snyder amassed a 136-68-1 (.666) record with the Wildcats, including a 75-53-1 (.585) mark in Big 8/12 games. His 136 victories are more than triple the man in second place on K-State’s all-time coaching victories list (Mike Ahearn, 39 wins).
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.
Snyder led Kansas State to 11 straight bowl berths between the 1993 and 2003 seasons, making K-State one of only seven programs in the nation to appear in the postseason every year during that stretch. During that span, Snyder’s Wildcats won nearly 80 percent of their games, chalking up 109 victories - a staggering average of nearly 10 wins per season - and making Kansas State the nation’s second-winningest program over that period.
The 12 legends were recognized at the Big 12 Legend's Reception on Friday prior to the game, while the legends were honored on the field as part of halftime festivities of the Big 12 Championship Game.
The 2008 Big 12 Legends:
Grant Teaff- Baylor
Joel Klatt- Colorado
Matt Blair- Iowa State
John Hadl- Kansas
Bill Snyder- Kansas State
John Kadlec- Missouri
Will Shields- Nebraska
Lee Roy Selmon- Oklahoma
Derrel Gofourth- Oklahoma State
Priest Holmes- Texas
John David Crow- Texas A&M
E.J. Holub- Texas Tech