On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jake Trotter wrote an article on Kansas State’s potential plummet pending Bill Snyder’s retirement. We at “the jug” disagree with this notion and here’s why.
The “Manhattan Miracle” Farce
Trotter credits Bill Snyder for turning Kansas State into “a program that produces winning teams year after year,” but not without referencing this body of work as the “Manhattan Miracle.” Yes, the Wildcats were a college football disaster for many years before his tenure; however, referring to the turnaround as a “miracle” is a bit insulting as Bill Snyder’s success at Kansas State is more than just being at the right place, at the right time.
If all of this is due to miracle, then we might as well call Manhattan the luckiest, (or holiest), place on earth
Snyder created a culture within the program that led to football success not seen in Manhattan since the 1930’s. The “powercat” logo, emphasis on family, and “Every Man a Wildcat” moniker are all products of the Bill Snyder era. Even more important is the 187 wins and 16 bowl game appearances the Wildcats have achieved under Snyder’s guidance. If all of this is due to miracle, then we might as well call Manhattan the luckiest, (or holiest), place on earth.
The Ron Prince Era
There’s that three year period Kansas State fans like to forget about and Jake Trotter had to bring up: The Ron Prince Era. Prince was coaching hire necessary at the time, but like so many other hires it didn’t work out. The reasons behind Prince’s failures in Manhattan are debatable but what isn’t is Trotter’s hinting that only Bill Snyder can win at Kansas State.
While it’s true nobody will ever get the job done like Coach Snyder has, the reality is Kansas State has barely scratched the surface at finding his successor. Lets consider Kansas State has only tried once since 1995 while schools like Michigan, UCLA, and Florida have tried multiple times to replace the likes of Schembechler, Donahue, and Spurrier. Do we dare mention how many head coaches the Kansas Jayhawks have burned through since the mid-90’s?
This time around Kansas State is wisely leaving Bill Snyder’s successor up to Bill Snyder. After all, who better to make such a decision?
Recruiting isn’t Rocket-science
Nobody is saying it’s easy but lets face it, there’s no secret formula to recruiting. We live in a day and age where neon uniforms and celebrities on the sideline lead to spikes in 4 and 5 star commitments. Jake Trotter alludes to Bill Snyder’s success with”rosters loaded with junior college transfers and current and former walk-ons,” but again is assuming such cannot be achieved by a successor.
Bill Snyder has recruited the same way since he took over the worst program in D-1A. His methods are modest but he’s taken in raw, unadvertised talent and left the rest to his coaching staff. These methods have proven successful for Snyder and can be for his successor. It is worth noting that even Ron Prince managed a record, 18 junior college transfers in a single recruiting season.
Kansas State isn’t flashy on the surface but has a superiority few would realize without stepping on campus. Coach Snyder has been the heartbeat of the program since 1989 and would die on the throne before turning it over to an inept regime. Jake Trotter can assume Bill Snyder’s inevitable retirement is “frightening” for Kansas State when in reality the family bond is too strong to be as scared.