Senior punter Devin Anctil didn't wear his usual number Saturday.
Putting his normal No. 21 to the side, he donned No. 9 instead. He did it in honor of Sean Snyder, Kansas State's former special teams coordinator who also was an All-American punter during his career for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.
Anctil explained the reasoning in a message posted to his personal Twitter account Thursday.
"For my last game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium I’ll be wearing #9 to honor the all time great K-State Punter @coachseansnyder, and to the one who brought me to Manhattan," Anctil wrote. "Thank you for everything you’ve done for me during my time here!!"
For my last game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium I’ll be wearing #9 to honor the all time great K-State Punter @coachseansnyder and to the one who brought me to Manhattan. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me during my time here!! pic.twitter.com/U9O6erUTfQ— Devin Anctil (@devin_anctil) November 28, 2019
Snyder responded in kind.
"I am truly honored @devin_anctil," Snyder wrote on Twitter. "I enjoyed my time coaching you. (I)t went a lot farther than the field. I am so proud of the steps you have taken and the person you are. I look so forward to your future."
I am truly honored @devin_anctil. I enjoyed my time coaching you. Which it went a lot farther than the field. I am so proud of the steps you have taken and the person you are. I look so forward to your future. https://t.co/IRwmu9aibY— Sean Snyder (@coachseansnyder) November 28, 2019
The pair posed for a picture in the stadium tunnel prior to the game, with Snyder standing beside his former player in his old No. 9 jersey.
"Can’t put into words how much this means to me," Snyder wrote. "Thank you again @devin_anctil."
Snyder, who is now in an administrative position within the football program, has had a variety of jobs with the Wildcats dating back to 1994.
From 1994 to 1996, he was a part-time assistant coach under his father, Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder. He then worked as the Wildcats’ director of football operations from 1996 to 1999. He took on the role of assistant athletics director from 1999 to 2001, then became an associate athletics director from 2001 to 2008. In 2009 and 2010, Snyder was a senior associate athletics director before joining his father’s staff as a full-time assistant in 2011, serving as the associate head coach and special teams coordinator.
From 2011 through last season, the Wildcats' special teams units were among the nation's best.
K-State set or tied eight school records, while 20 specialists and returners put their names at the top of the program’s record book in individual categories.
From 2013 to 2017, K-State boasted the first-team All-Big 12 kick returner every season, the longest streak in conference history.
Snyder’s tutelage earned him national recognition. He was named the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year in 2015 and 2017 by national college football writer Phil Steele.
The FootballScoop website picked Snyder also picked Snyder as the Special Teams Coordinator of the Year in 2015.
Yet what Anctil honored Saturday against Iowa State were Snyder's exploits on the field.
Snyder excelled during his time as K-State’s starting punter in 1991 and 1992.
In his first season as the starter, he was the Big Eight’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year after averaging 40.5 yards per punt. Snyder improved upon that mark the following season. That year, he netted first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Kodak and Athlon after setting a school record for yards per punt at 44.65.
Ironically, it's a record Anctil is in position to break.
Despite blustery conditions at Bill Snyder Family Stadium Saturday, Anctil still averaged 46.8 yards per punt, the fifth time in 12 games this fall he's reached that mark. (He was a tenth of a yard short against Oklahoma State, finishing with a 45.9 yards-per-punt average that day.)
Saturday's efforts puts Anctil's average for the season at 45.04 yards per attempt. If he can maintain that average through K-State's bowl game, he'll edge out Snyder, his mentor, for the best punting season in program history.
Anctil also likely will with K-State's career record for average yards per punt at 44.6. James Garcia holds the mark, for the moment, boasting an average of 43.18 yards per punt during his Wildcat career from 1995 to 1998. Snyder is third on that list, averaging 42.96 yards per punt during his two seasons.