So much for Kansas State coach Bill Snyder retiring anytime soon.
Just days after saying he felt energized heading into this season, the school announced Thursday it had signed Snyder to a new five-year contract that includes a pay bump to $3.45 million this season and could keep the 78-year-old coach with the Wildcats through the 2022 season.
Snyder already had a contract that essentially rolled over each year. But the new deal increases his salary immediately while adding an additional $300,000 each of the next two seasons, and it includes a clause that allows for a salary renegotiation after the 2020 season.
“We felt that it was important to recognize his commitment to our football program, and we look forward to his continued leadership,” Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor said.
Snyder resurrected the Kansas State program when he arrived in 1988, taking a program that had been dubbed “Futility U” to national prominence. He stepped away in 2005, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, only to return in 2009 when the program had again fallen on hard times.
Early last year, Snyder revealed that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He rarely missed a day in the office, though, and was deemed to be cancer-free when the Wildcats reported for fall camp.
There were times Snyder appeared to be sapped of energy last season, but they were few and far between. He wound up leading a young team to an 8-5 season that included a Cactus Bowl win.
Now, he returns a team that includes both quarterbacks that started games, the entire offensive line and an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball. Snyder has a new batch of young, energetic coordinators and believes the Wildcats have a chance to compete for the Big 12 title this season.
“I think they’ve kind of become a more spirited group of guys,” Snyder said. “It seems to be a group that has a good level of commitment to the process. All of these are positive things that I’m pleased about. I do not think this is dramatically different than how I saw them in the spring, (but) they are a group of guys not afraid to work at it. They do not seem to want to back away.”
In many ways, they take that from a coach who has old-school standards.
Snyder is only the sixth coach to eclipse 200 wins while coaching his entire career at the same school, and his record of 210-110-1 includes 19 bowl games and two Big 12 championships.
He’s been rewarded several times for his work with the Wildcats. The highway leading into town bears his name, as does the Wildcats’ stadium, and a massive bronze statue of him stands out front.
The latest reward? That new contract and salary bump.
“As I have stated so often, we came to Kansas State because of the people, stayed because of the people and returned because of the people, and that remains unchanged,” Snyder said in a statement Thursday. “We have continued to make daily improvement as a football program, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue and will do so as long as I am healthy and feel that I am having a positive impact on our university, community and football program and the young men that are involved.”