As you probably all know, Bill Snyder won his 200th game as head coach at Kansas State on Saturday against Kansas. There has been speculation of Snyder’s retirement after the last few seasons and this year is no different. The Collegian’s sports editor Scott Popp, editor-in-chief Tim Everson and writers Avery Osen and Brett Engle share their thoughts on if indeed it will be Snyder’s final season and who they think should eventually replace him.
Scott: With Snyder reaching his 200th win in his 25th season at the helm of the Wildcats, there has been talk of it being the perfect time for Snyder to hang up his clipboard. But I don’t see it happening. Snyder will have a lot of returning young talent next season, including a returning quarterback, which is something Snyder has excelled with.
Tim: I’ve done a lot of thinking about this. The real answer is I have no clue. I can read into a multitude of different things and tell you that Snyder is or isn’t going to enter his second stint of retirement. But if you nailed me down and made me pick one, I’d have to say that I expect to see Snyder on the sideline next season. I think he sees the potential of the young crop of players that he has and if he has it in him, he’d like to make one or two more runs at it.
Avery: He was hoisted off the field by players, there was a ceremony for him in the middle of the field and a video montage of his 200 wins at K-State, but I don’t think this is it for Snyder. The team this season has been very good and I only see them getting better next year. That said, Saturday kind of felt like a going away party with lots of celebrities there to potentially see Snyder’s last game in the stadium named after the Hall of Fame coach. But I don’t see him leaving, not right now.
Brett: If I were a betting man, I’d say this is Snyder’s last season. I think the situation is right. He just achieved his 200th win and has put together a deep roster over the the past few years. If the Wildcats beat TCU and win their bowl game, I think Snyder will decide to retire.
If he does choose to retire, who would you choose to replace him?
Scott: As much as I love the thought of keeping the program in the hands of a Snyder (Bill has said he wants his son Sean to replace him when he’s done), Sean is just not the best option. I think current Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables would be the best fit. Venables has significantly improved Clemson’s defense in his time there and was a linebackers coach at K-State under Snyder in the late 90s, so he knows this program. Another coach to watch could be Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, a former K-State co-defensive coordinator with head coaching experience.
Tim: I think you have to look realistically at the situation. K-State doesn’t have the coffers or the war chest to go after a big name. I think you want someone who brings some youth to bolster recruiting while understanding and respecting the tradition and way of doing things that has brought Snyder success over the past 25 years. If the Wildcats can get Venables, great. He’d fit that bill perfectly.
Avery: I think the Wildcats will hire Snyder’s son, Sean, to take over the team. He has been with the program for some time now and knows what he is doing. It would only be fitting that the program gets passed from one Snyder to another. I like the thought of LSU head coach Les Miles, too, but I think his price tag might be a bit high. He would be a great next leader for this program with lots of wins under his belt.
Brett: I would choose head coach P.J. Fleck of Western Michigan to take over the program. He’s a young coach with a ton of energy, which I think the players would appreciate after years of Snyder’s calmness. In a few short years, he’s built a great program at Western Michigan and I believe that success would continue at K-State.