Kansas State co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel informally threw his hat in the ring to be Bill Snyder’ successor at Kansas State on Sunday.
“I think it would be a challenge, but obviously I understand the inner workings of this program,” Dimel told Kansas.com. “I saw coach come in when we weren’t very successful. So I’ve seen what can make K-State not successful. I’ve been around for the losing years. I’ve also been around here during the transition and around for the positive years. I have seen the whole gambit of what K-State football is about. I have a great understanding of what it takes to win here, but also what not to do here.”
For all we know, Snyder will outlive us all and still be the head coach at Kansas State in 2075. But in the even that doesn’t happen, Snyder has put forth a name he would recommend as his successor, his son, Sean, Kansas State’s associate head coach and special teams coordinator.
Dimel, who also coaches the Wildcats’ running backs and tight ends, has traveled a unique path through the coaching world. He arrived at Kansas State in 1987, two years before Snyder, serving as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator in his first tour of duty in Manhattan. He left Kansas State to become at the time the youngest head coach in FBS at Wyoming, where he went 23-12, and later at Houston, where he went 8-26.
“I learned what it took to turn a program around,” Dimel said of those experiences. “That’s what I learned the most at Houston, how to come in when something is really broke and how to bring it back to be a successful place. Then I learned at Wyoming how to step in and take a place that was kind of wavering back and forth, never really having any successful winning and how to get it to be a consistent situation. There was a lot of diversity in the two systems I walked into.”
With a stint at Arizona under Mike Stoops and now four years into his second term at Kansas State, Dimel has a hard-earned perspective on coaching.
“I think some coaches don’t understand what the important elements are in developing a successful program,” said Dimel. “Those are things I learned from doing, starting off as a really young coach at 34 and then going on and looking at where I am now, I can say these are things that are most important to being successful.”
Considering Snyder’s talents in producing successful head coaches, including Bob Stoops and Bret Bielema, to name a pair, and the coaches on the current staff, Kansas State should be in good hands whenever he eventually steps down. Dimel just hopes that inevitable replacement is him.