Snyder allegedly ends agreement with Leavitt, K-State Athletics refutes claim

Bill Snyder, head coach Kansas State, walks onto the field for the start of the game against the University of Oklahoma at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. on Oct. 21, 2017. (File photo by Meg Shearer | Collegian Media Group)

Early Thursday morning, a report came out from former ESPN writer Brett McMurphy saying that Jim Leavitt, defensive coordinator at Oregon, was in line to become Kansas State’s new head football coach in 2018.

However, the report said current head coach Bill Snyder nixed the agreement so that his son Sean Snyder, current assistant coach, would receive the job instead.

Sources told McMurphy that K-State president Richard Myers and the school’s highest-profile boosters were all on board with Leavitt replacing Snyder after the 2017 football season. Leavitt and K-State had allegedly reached a verbal agreement that guaranteed Leavitt three million dollars if he was not named head coach by Jan. 1, 2018.

During this time, Leavitt was at Colorado as the defensive coordinator. After Snyder refused to give Leavitt his approval, Leavitt left to become the defensive coordinator at Oregon, which is where he is currently.

Leavitt was an assistant coach for K-State football back in the 1990s. Leavitt’s contract with Oregon had a clause that would allow Leavitt to take the position as head coach without paying a buyout to terminate his contract.

Leavitt later talked with’s D. Scott Fritchen, where he told Fritchen he never intended to take a job at K-State.

“I always have been and always will be Coach Snyder’s number one fan,” Leavitt said to GPC. “If Coach ever retires, which may not be for some time, I would want whatever is best for KSU and the people of Kansas. Hopefully sometime soon I will have the opportunity to be a head coach again. For now, my only concern is to help build our defense at Oregon.”

Later in the day, K-State Athletics released this statement: “As has been the case and stated many times, Coach Snyder is our football coach and will remain coach until he decides otherwise.”

Former K-State athletic director John Currie, who is now at the University of Tennessee, has not commented on the issue. According to the Wichita Eagle, two K-State boosters said it was a “poorly kept secret” that Leavitt was Currie’s top pick to replace Snyder.

The boosters said they were surprised by the report and said they were unaware that a financial agreement was in place.

I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.