Bill Snyder has been the coach at Kansas State for 22 seasons. That's long enough to turn a program from basement-dweller to national title hopeful, retire, and then come back to do it all over again.
While Snyder's legacy is already destined to live forever in Manhattan, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and beyond the realm of college football, there are a few hundred people out there that will hold Snyder in even higher esteem because of a simple, thoughtful act of authoring a quick hand-written note.
We've highlighted Snyder's hand written notes to opponents before (like Brock Jensen at North Dakota State after the Bison beat the Wildcats in Manhattan), but today we came across an interesting article where Snyder admits that he's been doing it for nearly his entire head coaching career, and also explains why he feels compelled to squeeze in a personal note to a player (or coach) on the opposing team after each and every week.
“I appreciate opponents that prepare well and play well and show quality principles and values,” he told The Oklahoman.
“The letters that I've sent to players over the years — and coaches for that matter — it's just sharing my appreciation for what they do and how they prepared and how they played. Just recognizing what they do.”
Somewhere out there are a few hundred letters, and a few hundred people that (if they were smart enough) are holding on to that post game letter from coach Snyder. It's just part of the old school approach that has made him into the coach, and icon that he is. If you know anything about Snyder, you know that these notes are genuine and come from the heart. Only recently have the hand scribbled notes been uncovered for everyone to see, due in large part to social media.
Someday those letters are more than likely going to make their way to the College Football Hall of Fame. Then coaches everywhere will be able to add the simple act of kindness to an ever-growing list of underrated things that may seem trivial to most in the profession, but the fact that Snyder found the importance in it is what makes him the man, and coach, that he is and that will be remembered far longer than his accomplishments on the football field.
Snyder has found more than a handful of ways to leave a legacy, and he's not even done yet.