25 May 2000

Sports Update

By Ben E. Brake

Statistics donít make a coach

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the football coaching staff at K-State. The first one to look at would be no
other than the head coach Bill Snyder. Before I get into talking about Coach Snyder, I would like to thank his wife Sharon
and family for allowing their husband, father, and grandfather to dedicate so much of his time and heart to a team, a college, a
town, a state and even a country. They have given up so much so we (the fans) could have what we have been missing since
the birth of the university on February 16, 1863, a first rate football team. Without your tolerance and understanding this
football team wouldnít be where it is today. Thank you!

To start out, I must point out that I cannot put everything he has done for the school and the town in the paper. The list of
accomplishments is just too long. Sorry, like fans from other schools always tell me, "heís no Gary Barnett" and they are
right.

Since November 30, 1988, when Coach Snyder was hired, he has recorded a record of 88 wins, 38 losses, and a tie. That
record sounds real good, not exceptional, unless you look at what took place before that. If you look how far back it was
when K-State won 88 games before Snyder you would need to look way back to 1955 on November 5, in Lawrence,
Kansas when K-State beat the Jayhawks 46-0 (is it the same KU team as now?). K-Stateís coach at the time was Bus
Mertes who had a record of 15-34-1. It took K-State almost 33 years before Snyder to equal the same number of wins as
in Snyderís 11 seasons.

Now, if you look at how long it took to match the 38 losses, you would have to look back to 1985 on September 21, when
K-State lost to Texas Christian University 22-24 (must be a miss print!) under coach Jim Dickey who had a record of
25-53-2.

OK, forget the first 4 years of rebuilding. If you take those years away, you come up with a win/loss record of 70-12-1 or an
84% winning percentage since 1993.

Bill Snyder has taken a team that was once known as the worst college football team in NCAA history and turned it into a
top-10 football machine.

This is totally unbelievable. He was not handed a team that had a tradition of winning, he was not handed a team that needed
just a little rebuilding, he was not handed a team that had a lot of support.

He was given a team that had to climb up to even reach the basement. He was given a team that didnít believe in themselves.
He was given something that if you stepped in it, you wouldnít wipe it off, you would just throw the boots away.

So, how did he do it? How do you take a team that couldnít win the ball and shell game when there was only one ball and
one shell and turn it into a team that refuses to lose?

For starters, he had to be smarter than the average Gary Barnett, I mean bear. He had to take the team back to basics, back
to believing in themselves. Then he had to get the fans to believe. The fans had been waiting for a century to give support to
their favorite team. He reformed everybodyís way of thinking, from not again to just you wait.

He changed everything. He took everything that looked out of place and put it in place. He took everything that was old and
made it new. He took everything that was broken and fixed it. He took young men who didnít care and made them care. He
took those that were weak and made them strong. He took a town that had just about given up and gave them life. He took
the Wildcat and made it a POWERCAT.

The statistics on Coach Snyder are nice, but it doesnít really tell what he has done at Kansas State. When you put all the
numbers together you come up with a math problem, not a coach. I believe we have the best coach there ever has been in
college football.

Elsewhere in Football

1.3 Million dollar man

Mark Simoneau has signed a three-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons worth about 1.3 million dollars, including a
$415,000 signing bonus. Simoneau was the Falconís third round draft choice in this yearís draft.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail me at bbrake@msn.com