Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder announced on Sunday that he would be retiring for a second time. When all is said and done, Snyder’s accomplishment in turning Kansas State into a contender may be one of the greatest in college football history. As Barry Switzer once said, "He's not the coach of the year, he's not the coach of the decade, he's the coach of the century."
Snyder’s football career spanned 60 years. Here are the 10 greatest moments of it.
Redemption at William Jewell College
Snyder went to Missouri, but flunked out as a freshman. After returning home to St. Joseph and feeling tremendous guilt for letting his single mom down, coach Norris Patterson offered him a second shot at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. He made the most of the opportunity and lettered three years at defensive back and halfback.
Big Ten champs (1985)
Snyder went into coaching as a graduate assistant at USC in 1966 and coached at two California high schools and Austin College before joining Hayden Fry at North Texas in '76. The two then moved to Iowa with Snyder serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and turned the fledgling program into a two-time Big Ten champion. The best season came in 1985 when the Hawkeyes held the No. 1 ranking for five straight weeks and won the conference title outright.
First win (1989)
Snyder became the head coach of Kansas State in 1989 and inherited a program that had not won a game since '86. That changed in the fourth game of his debut season when the Wildcats beat North Texas 20-17 in dramatic, last-minute fashion. It would be Kansas State’s only win, but set a tone for better things to come.
Big Eight Coach of the Year (1990)
The next season, Kansas State improved to 5-6. The jump in wins was so impressive that he was named Big Eight Coach of the Year. He would go on to win the award in the Big Eight and Big 12 six more times.
First bowl win (1993)
In 1993, Kansas State went 9-2-1, beat its first ranked opponent in No. 13 Oklahoma, and won the first bowl game in the program’s history with a 52-17 victory over Wyoming in the Copper Bowl. Snyder would go on to lead Kansas State to 18 more bowl games during his career.
Undefeated regular season (1998)
The Wildcats went 11-0 during the regular season and were ranked second going into the Big 12 Championship Game. Although they were upset by Texas A&M in one of the greatest conference title games ever and lost to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl, it is important to remember that the Wildcats had gone 0-11 just 10 years earlier.
First Big 12 title (2003)
Kansas State won the Big 12 North in 2003 with a 6-2 record, but appeared to be cats to the slaughter against top-ranked Oklahoma in the conference championship game. However, they shocked the Sooners in a 35-7 upset, winning their first conference title since 1934.
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium
Snyder retired for the first time after the 2005 season. The next day, Kansas State renamed its stadium Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, a rare honor for a living coach. When he came back in 2009, Snyder became one of the few individuals to ever coach in a stadium named after him,
Second Big 12 title (2012)
All the critics who said Snyder might have lost a step in his encore were humbled in 2012. The Wildcats started the season 10-0 before losing to Baylor, but beat Texas the next week to win the school’s second Big 12 conference title.
200 wins (2016)
In 2016, Snyder recorded his 200th win with a 34-19 victory over in-state rival Kansas. The milestone put him in the class of Joe Paterno, LaVell Edwards, Tom Osborne, Vince Dooley and Chris Ault as the only coach to win 200 games at one school. His 215 wins account for 41 percent of all the wins Kansas State has accumulated in the program's 120-year history.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.