The first time Bill Snyder retired from Kansas State, he said it took him “about six months” until he came to grips with no longer coaching football.
The second time around hasn’t been as easy.
“It’s taking a little bit longer this time, I think,” Snyder said following a celebration of his 27 years as K-State’s head football coach Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, more than seven months after his retirement was announced Dec. 2. “I think about it from time to time, and it just seems as though, for whatever reason, I haven’t gotten through it as well as I did the last time.”
He admits stepping away “is still on his mind.” But he’ll push through it.
“I’m not 100% at ease yet,” he said, “but it will come.”
In the meantime, Snyder said he remains busy — in his mind, too busy.
In April, he had 29 speaking engagements. Going forward, Snyder said he’ll “gradually” start slowing down on the speaking circuit. In short, he said he needs to learn to say “no” more often.
But in day-to-day life, he’s constantly in motion.
He gets exercise in every day, running on a treadmill and swimming laps in the pool.
He’s even gotten his golf clubs out.
His close friend, K-State great Jim Colbert — Colbert Hills Golf Club carries his name — won’t let up.
“I pulled my 5-iron out, which is the only one that I use. I swung it once and I had a hard time getting the club above my shoulders, so I’m doing some stretching exercises now,” Snyder said. “I will re-approach the club here in a few days. I promised (Jim) Colbert that I would. He is pushing my buttons to try to get me to do it. I’ll get on it.”
Retirement also freed up time for Snyder to go through all the things he’s put off for decades. Namely, boxes.
He’s a self-described “pack rat.” Everything he’s acquired in the last “30 years, 40 years, 50 years,” he still owns. He’s saved it all.
Now, he said there’s “at least” 150 large boxes he has to sort through.
“I have an office in our house, and (last) Thursday was the first day I got it cleaned out enough that I actually could sit down at my desk to do some work,” he said. “So I am making some headway in that respect. But ... our house is full. Our granddaughter has a house here, and her garage is full. Sean (Snyder) has a big storage building on his property and one of the walls is maybe 30 feet tall and it’s full of boxes stacked on top of each other.”
When the fall rolls around, Snyder said he’ll still enter the stadium that bears his name.
He just won’t be on the sideline; he plans to join his wife and the rest of his family in one of the stadium’s suites.
As difficult as Snyder said it’s been to exit the coaching profession, he doesn’t think it will be nearly as tough watching the Wildcats from afar.
At least, it wasn’t the last time.
“I thought the very first game I watched, I knew it was going to be unique,” Snyder said, referring to Ron Prince’s debut game as K-State’s head coach in 2006. “I didn’t know how I would deal with it. But it worked out fine and I really didn’t have ... maybe after the second or third game, I almost seemed like a fan. I don’t know how it will be this time. Wait and see, I guess.”
Snyder had no such uncertainty regarding one possible post-coaching profession.
Unlike some of his colleagues, a television career isn’t in his future.
“Asking questions with you (reporters)? No,” he said with a laugh. “That would lead me nowhere.”