In a shocking move (especially to those of us in the South) Kansas State announced today that they are re-hiring Bill Snyder as head football coach 3 years after his retirement. He is largely credited for bringing K-State football out of the mucky marsh of “worst football program ever” it once was and into (relative) national prominence.
He retired in 2005 and they promptly named the stadium after him–well, really his family at his request, but you get the idea.
So why is this so strange to me? Well for one, it wasn’t like he was breaking win records when he was on his way out. His last 2 teams went 4-7 and 5-6. So he retired. Like the administration and fan base wanted him to. All was well. They hired up-and-coming OC Ron Prince and the experiment largely failed. So now in an effort to move forward, they… hire a 70 year old that had trouble winning 3 years ago? I guess so.
Maybe there is something I’m missing. Maybe there is a grander plan to right the course and pave the way for the young-gun coaching hire they want, they just need time to groom him. Maybe. But on the surface it just doesn’t make sense.
Maybe it’s because I am stuck in the quagmire of our own football coaching search and this has the stench of “Yeah, call Johnny Majors, he used to win games. In fact, he still lives in Knoxville! What a great idea!”
Maybe that’s what gives me the shivers. Because I sure don’t give a rip about K-State football. Still, it is odd. So why make that move?
Maybe they realized they couldn’t find the guy. Prince wasn’t getting them to a bowl any time soon and the recruiting to Manhattan has got to be tough. KU (80 miles East) is on the rise, and probably get first crack at any in-state talent you can find. You’re within 200 miles of both Lincoln and Columbia, both schools who’ve competed for division titles in the last 5 years. And Snyder at least proved he can get you to a bowl game (11 in a row from ’93 to ’03).
Maybe they’re seeing the rising cost of winning football coaches. They know Snyder won’t hold out for an extension, hell anything more than a 2 year deal is risky at best.
I don’t know. I’m sure no expert on Midwestern football (thank God), but this just doesn’t make sense. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. But maybe they’re on their way back to the mucky marsh.
Then again, maybe–just maybe–Majors does still have some kick left in him. Anyone got his number?