At some point in the past 11 months, Bill Snyder began to find a rhythm in retirement.
Snyder spent 27 seasons as Kansas State’s head football coach. In December 2018, K-State announced his retirement. More than seven months later, in a celebration of his career held at Bramlage Coliseum, he made his first on-the-record comments about his retirement.
“It’s taking a little bit longer this time, I think,” said Snyder, a year ago comparing his second retirement to his first, which occurred after the 2005 season. “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 even put a percentage on it.
“I’m not 100% at ease yet,” he said at that time, “but it will come.”
That time is now.
“I can’t say that I don’t miss being on the field, but it’s not something that I think about going back to,” Snyder said during a video conference Wednesday. “That time has come and passed. I enjoyed it.”
Snyder attended K-State home games last season at the stadium to which his name — along with that of his family — is affixed. So while football still is on his mind from time to time, it’s not all consuming.
“It’s hard to say you don’t miss it, but at the same token, I don’t wake up thinking about — of course, I don’t go to sleep — or thinking, ‘Boy, do I miss football,’” he said. “I don’t really think about it all that much.”
Even after he hung up his whistle following a legendary coaching career, Snyder stayed busy. In April 2019, for example, he had 29 speaking engagements in a 30-day span. That pace didn’t abate in subsequent months.
The only thing that could slow down Snyder was an unprecedented pandemic.
“I have, along with my wife, abided by the guidelines and stayed put,” he said. “I’ve done most of the things that I would do as we’re doing right now with the online Zoom (calls) and a variety of other avenues. But prior to that, I did a lot of speaking engagements and travel for those. ... I was out in Baltimore, out in Florida and spent some time in North Carolina — just a variety of different places, doing the same thing you always do. But all of that has been rescheduled until after the scare is over with the COVID virus.”
Though Snyder’s admittedly settled into a routine in his post-coaching life, one thing that hasn’t changed in the past year is his to-do list around the house.
“It gets longer every day,” he said, “and it gets longer because I don’t get to it.”
Snyder’s wife, Sharon, devotes her time to gardening.
“All of our property here is really gorgeous. She does a wonderful job. That’s her thing,” he said. “I tend to my paperwork and calls and different things that still go on, but there’s a lot of things I’ve intended to do that I haven’t gotten to.”
It all centers around boxes.
“Thirty years in one place, you accumulate a lot,” Snyder said. “I’m what most people would identify as a ‘pack rat.’ I’ve saved virtually everything, so we have three levels at our home, and I’d be embarrassed to show you.”
Snyder then stopped, mid answer, waving his hand around to reference that he was sitting in what was somewhat “of an office area.” That, he said, is a space he’d also “be embarrassed to show you,” with numerous boxes just out of sight of the webcam.
“We have two storage areas downstairs, and they’re (filled) floor to ceiling with boxes,” he said. “I promised myself that I would get around to going through them and discarding and giving to children, etc. etc. But I haven’t gotten to it yet.”