Bill Snyder was absent from his Tuesday spring football press conference, but associate head coach Sean Snyder said there was no reason to worry.
The elder Snyder had a medical appointment outside of Manhattan as part of his throat cancer recovery, so his son stepped in for the day with less than two weeks until the Purple/White Scrimmage on April 22.
“He’s doing very well,” Sean Snyder said of his dad. “He’s got some appointments up in Kansas City so he’s running in to do that. He’s been in and out. He’s been at all the practices. He’s doing kind of standard post-treatment stuff right now. He’s moving in a positive direction.”
Sean Snyder gave a different perspective of his father’s cancer diagnosis and the recovery process while remaining positive about the future.
One of the toughest things for him was playing both the role of son and assistant coach.
“When the diagnosis initially came out it was pretty tough because I was (saying), ‘Get out of here and go do what you need to do,’ and he probably didn’t go as fast as I would have liked him to,” Sean Snyder said. “But he went and got things taken care of and post-bowl game was able to get in and get treatment and all that sort of stuff started.”
Without Bill around for all the day-to-day activities, Sean said the program didn’t miss a beat. But it was still hard for Bill that he couldn’t dedicate as much time to being in the Vanier Family Football Complex as he wanted.
“That part is a pretty well-oiled machine,” he said. “There’s time he needs to feel comfortable that he can go get rest and get away and go do that. He wants to be here. He wants to be around every minute. He misses being around the players an awful lot. That part is tough, but it is a balancing act.”
Sean said spring practices continue to progress in a positive direction, too. He mentioned a number of players that continue to impress, including running backs Alex Barnes and Justin Silmon after a team scrimmage on Monday.
Back on the subject of his dad, Snyder said the biggest effect cancer has had on him is just wearing him down and making him more tired than usual. Those are both expected side effects of the cancer treatment, but what hasn’t changed was Bill’s sharpness and attention to detail, as well as the way he addresses his players.
One thing that has increased is the amount of time Sean and Bill spend talking. Sean said they now talk even more than usual.
“We have great conversations, and we’ve had good dialogue,” he said. “There’s been things where he’s been a little more, ‘Tell me about, get it done and let me know where we’re at.’ The relationship has always been great. We do talk a lot more about things that are going on to keep him in the loop.”
Geary away from program
Without going into details, Snyder confirmed two-time all-Big 12 defensive tackle Will Geary is currently not participating in spring practices with the Wildcats for personal reasons.
Sean said he wouldn’t go into specifics but would allow his father to address it when he returns for next week’s meeting with the media.
“I’m not going to comment on his status,” Snyder said. “I will say, yes, Will’s working on a few things right now and hopefully things will work out and we’ll have him back.”
Fabris hired as defensive ends coach, Seiler promoted
Jon Fabris, who tutored two of Kansas State’s best defensive units in school history in 1997 and 1998, has returned to Manhattan as an assistant coach to work with the defensive ends while Blake Seiler will coach the linebackers while also being promoted to assistant defensive coordinator, head coach Bill Snyder announced Tuesday.
Seiler is entering his fifth year as a full-time coach at K-State.
A Wildcat defensive end from 2003-06, Seiler tutored a pair of All-Americans in Jordan Willis (2016) and Ryan Mueller (2013). Willis ranked 12th nationally and tops in the Big 12 in sacks last season.