<
>

Snyder appears committed to KSU for long haul

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I got a chance to spend a long interview with Kansas State coach Bill Snyder earlier this year that showed a side of the veteran coach I had never seen.

He appeared relaxed and chipper -- a marked change from the Snyder I remembered from earlier in his career.

Several times during the interview, Snyder told me he returned to coaching mainly to "smooth the waters" after some of the recent struggles in the program.

Those words became even more prescient after news surfaced that former Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause approved a secret agreement with former football coach Ron Prince that was signed without the knowledge of any other person.

Later, two assistant athletic directors were placed on administrative leave soon after new athletic director John Currie arrived.

The Wildcats appeared to be the most dysfunctional of any athletic administration in the Big 12. And that's why the announcement that Snyder's contract will continue through 2013 is so important to Currie's new administration.

Snyder will turn 70 next month, but appears to have been rejuvenated by his three-year sabbatical. Despite facing a challenging rebuilding job, he appears committed to doing what is necessary to get the Wildcats back to the level they were at when they made 11 straight bowl trips from 1993-2003.

If Snyder chooses to remain, he would be 73 years old in the final season of his contract. Considering that Joe Paterno in 82 and Bobby Bowden is 79, Snyder's age isn't that advanced in college football any more.

He seems to have recaptured his celebrated work ethic soon after his return.

It's still going to be an uphill battle to return Kansas State to its former place as a consistent North Divison challenger.

But I feel a lot more confident about their chances if Snyder is the one directing the project.