An ESPN report is suggesting that Bill Snyder wishes it had turned out differently.
Snyder, who served as Kansas State’s head football coach for 27 years in two separate stints, wrapped up his final season last fall. The university officially announced his retirement Dec. 2. No comments from Snyder were included in the university’s announcement about his retirement, and he hadn’t spoken publicly on the subject since.
But in an interview with ESPN published Wednesday, Snyder said the discussions he had with university president Richard Myers and athletics director Gene Taylor in December didn’t necessarily conclude the way he wanted.
“There were certain things I wouldn’t share that we had dialogue about,” Snyder told ESPN.com. “It’s certainly everybody’s right to do what they feel is the best thing to do. I can appreciate that. But rarely does it end for any of us (coaches) the way we’d prefer it to.”
Snyder said there were “emotions both ways” whether he should step away or try to return for another season on the sideline.
“I wrestled with it considerably,” he said. “One day, I’d feel one way. Then the next day, I’d feel another way. It was back and forth. When you get to that point (in age), you question can you do justice to either side of the equation.”
Eight days after Snyder’s announced retirement, K-State hired Chris Klieman as its new head coach. The change in coaching staffs also altered the role of Snyder’s eldest son, Sean Snyder.
Sean has worked for the Wildcats in various capacities every year since 1994. In his most recent role, he was K-State’s associate head coach and special teams coordinator under his father from 2011 to 2018.
Sean Snyder now serves as K-State’s director of football operations, a logistics-centered position. Scheduling and arranging travel are two of his main duties. He’s also a senior special teams analyst.
But he’s no longer in an official, on-field coaching role.
Bill Snyder reiterated to ESPN.com that he had hoped Sean would succeed him as head coach. But Snyder said his insistence sprung more from Sean’s knowledge of the inner workings of the program than his familial connection.
“Sean knows more about the Kansas State football program than anybody on the face of the earth, including me,” Snyder said. “I trusted him with so much for a long time. He kind of ran the program.”
K-State, however, went in another direction tabbing Klieman, who won four FCS national championships in five years at North Dakota State.
“It would have been a good thing,” said Snyder, referring to Sean succeeding him, “but it wasn’t to be.”
With his coaching career over, the elder Snyder is in his first year as a special ambassador to the university, a position in which he is required to make up to eight Catbacker Tour or special events per year to promote the university and the football program.