‘R’ word of college coaching most important for achieving long-term

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Winning isn’t everything — at least not in college football.
   
Many coaches have plenty of tallies in the win column but couldn’t secure their jobs. The most important aspect of college football is much more difficult, but it is exactly what Bill Snyder does well. It is also a field in which Frank Martin does rather well.
   
Any coach can win a game in college sports. It is recruiting that will secure a coach’s career, not just winning. When a great coach retires, he leaves his successor an inheritance — a well-recruited, well-taught team.
   
In football, Larry Coker won a national championship at the University of Miami in 2002 and entered the 2003 championship on a 25-game winning streak. But Coker lacked great recruiting skills and was finished after only 5 seasons.
   
In basketball, coaches are known for their recruiting skills as much as their on-the-bench preaching.
   
Former football coach Ron Prince won seven games his first year and led the Cats to a bowl game. But K-State must have disagreed with his recruiting direction. It’s not winning that the university believes Snyder will return to the football team — it’s recruiting. He’s a big name as the namesake for a state highway and football stadium.
   
Having Snyder directly associated with the team brings instant interest to undecided high-school football players. After a few years of building the foundation of a typical Snyder masterpiece, he can turn the reins over to a preselected coach of the future.
   
Martin has the same effect on basketball’s next generation. He and Dalonte Hill bring solid recruiting abilities to the men’s basketball program. This allows them a larger buffer, since the university is willing to be patient while the program is rebuilt. In this way, Martin and his staff can make their parquet work of art and control most aspects of the team.
   
Hiring Snyder shows that the university wants to put K-State back in the headlines and re-enthuse the Wildcat faithful. This excitement can influence the team, the staff and potential Wildcat football players. If you recruit them, the wins will come.

Owen Kennedy is a senior in business management. Please send comments to sports@spub.ksu.edu.

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