Snyder recounts career climb when ‘I was not a very good football coach’

DALLAS, Texas — Bill Snyder, the grandaddy of them all, with “them” being the K-State football family and Big 12 coaches, produced a wonderfully practical response to the question of how optimistic he is entering this season.

“My degree of optimism is negotiated daily.”

What a fitting perspective for the 74-year-old face of the Wildcats, who has repeatedly transformed ordinary-looking teams into winners.

Snyder also revealed a personal nugget regarding his longevity in Manhattan. Turns out it stems from his impatience at previous jobs, where he was ambitiously climbing the career ladder from high school assistant to high school head coach to college assistant to college head coach—so intent on advancing to the next job he didn’t appreciate his current one.

“I was half in/half out, so to speak,” he said. “And consequently I was not a very good football coach at all, probably not a very good person.

“I learned some time ago, probably 30 some‑odd years ago, that I needed to do it a little differently. And my decision was, simply put, be where you are. And I chose to do that. And that allowed me, I think, to become better at things I was doing and never looked to move on. … I valued where I was, where my family was and doing what we were doing.”

Above you can watch Snyder’s podium appearance at Big 12 media days on Tuesday.

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