K-State looks ahead to finding Snyder's replacement

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Monday, December 3, 2018

Kansas State Athletics Director Gene Taylor released the following statement today regarding the search for the school’s next head football coach:

“Our priority will be to identify the absolute best individual to lead our football program and we will do so in a timely yet exhaustive manner. This is a program with rich tradition, a passionate fan base and a facility infrastructure that is second to none, and we want to find a successful coach who best fits and understands our culture here at K-State. We will attract some of the nation’s top coaches, and I look forward to introducing the K-State Nation its next coach in the near future.”

Taylor will not comment on the search any further until a new coach is hired.

In its search for a new football coach, Kansas State will use the services Ventura Partners, an executive search firm.

Without word from the university, some believe the search is narrowed down. Numerous outlets have specifically tied three coaches to the opening, each with a unique tie to Kansas State football.

Chris Klieman,head coach of North Dakota State, was hired by current K-State Athletic Director Gene Taylor. Since taking over at NDSU, Klieman has racked up a 54- record with the Bison and won three FCS national championships. He says he understands why his name is in the mix for K-State, but says his focus is on his next game leading the Bison.

Another notable option is Jim Leavitt, current defensive coordinator at Oregon. Leavitt is widely believed to want the job at K-State if it's offered.

Leavitt was a defensive coordinator under Snyder. He has clause in his current contract that would let him leave Oregon for K-State without penalty.

At the top of list for many prognosticators is North Texas Head Coach Seth Litrell. He's regarded as one of the top candidates for about any open job in college football, if he wants to move up to a bigger conference.

Litrell has led North Texas to a 9-3 season. He's guided the Mean Green to back-to-back bowl games in his first two seasons.

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Longtime Kansas State Football coach Bill Snyder announced his retirement today as the head football coach at Kansas State.

The winningest coach in the history of K-State football with a 215-117-1 record, Snyder will transition to a special ambassador role for the University as stated in his current employment agreement.

He will leave as the 20th winningest coach in FBS history and currently ranks second among active FBS coaches in wins. Under Snyder, K-State is the third-winningest program in the Big 12 with 104 total league wins since the league was formed in 1996.

In all, Snyder led K-State to 19 of the school’s 21 all-time bowl appearances, won two conference titles, achieved two No. 1 national rankings, coached players who received a total of 214 All-America honors, 13 Academic All-Americans, was a five-time national coach of the year and seven-time conference coach of the year and also became just the fourth active coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2015).

“Coach Snyder has had an immeasurable impact on our football program, Kansas State University, the Manhattan community and the entire state of Kansas, and it has been an honor and a privilege to get to know and work with him the past two years,” said Athletics Director Gene Taylor. “He and his family have touched the lives of so many people, from student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, and he is truly one of the greatest coaches and leaders in college football history. His impact on college football is unmatched and legacy is one that will last a lifetime.”

Snyder’s impact at K-State reached far beyond the football field. In addition to rekindling an overwhelming sense of pride in K-State alumni and supporters from coast to coast, the winning culture he ushered in helped spark a University and community-wide revitalization as K-State’s enrollment blossomed from 18,120 when he was hired to a record of more than 24,000.

“This university, this community and this state are deeply indebted to Coach Bill Snyder. Since arriving on campus in 1989, coach has delivered on all his promises — and more. He brought Kansas State University football to the national stage and built a program on the bedrock of integrity, honor and his famed 16 goals for success,” said Richard Myers, Kansas State University president.

A national search is underway to identify K-State’s next football coach. The department will utilize Ventura Partners to assist with the search.