Tag Archives: Bill Snyder 16 goals

Harper describes change in program since Snyder’s return

23 Oct

Kansas State has enjoyed so much success this year and last year that it is easy to forget the depths from which the program has risen since coach Bill Snyder’s return in 2009. Following Ron Prince’s three-year tenure, the team went 6-6 and missed out on a bowl berth. The new staff – led by the legendary Snyder – had many problems to address.

Certainly, the 7-0 record of the Wildcats to this point in time would indicate that those issues have been dealt with.

There are plenty of numbers about time of possession, turnover margin and penalty yardage that speak to the fact that Kansas State is a disciplined group. Kansas State has the fewest penalties of any team in the country (24 total), leads the Big 12 in turnover margin (+12) and ranks in the top of the conference in time of possession.

But on Tuesday, wide receiver Chris Harper took a good amount of time to describe a culture change beyond statistics.

“When [Coach Snyder] first got here, we were terrible,” Harper said. “We sucked, and it was because we didn’t put the work in. Our work ethic sucked, the discipline and all that.”

Suffice it to say that some of the players on the team when Snyder returned did not live up to the high standards Snyder has for his athletes as individuals. Harper said there were some players who “were in trouble” – guys who wouldn’t even think about going to classes or who went out to Aggieville after games and winded up getting arrested.

According to Harper, those are not problems Snyder has to deal with anymore. Besides the expectations of Snyder and his staff, the players in leadership positions – the names of captains Collin Klein, Arthur Brown, B.J. Finney and Ty Zimmerman come to mind just for starters – will not stand for that kind of behavior.

“The program’s shifted,” Harper said. “There’s a total shift now in the discipline and the work ethic  … That comes from internal leadership too. You’re not just going to be held accountable from the coaches. You’re going to be held accountable from the players, and I think that’s something that matters, and that’s something that’s really big.”

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Valuable Values

19 Aug

Some might call it luck, eking out eight wins by a touchdown or less. Bill Snyder credits the repeated late-game successes of 2011 to something more attainable.

The long-time Kansas State coach still believes in the power of time of possession and the crucial nature of not creating turnovers, but he also recognizes the effectiveness of qualities not exclusive to the football field. By his estimation, the embracing of those helped the team dramatically last season.

“We developed the values that you hear me talk about so often,” Snyder said, “the values that we all hold dear for our children, which I hold for the kids in our program.”

By now, most have heard of Snyder’s 16 goals. This season, the goals are at the center of Kansas State’s football marketing campaign. Season ticket holders have received short videos about each goal throughout the summer, and the back cover of the media guide lists them alongside a picture of Snyder.

The coaches discuss them with the players, and the players reference them often in interviews. The interesting part is that it all seems to be more than just talk, more than just public relations.

For Snyder, the proof is in last season’s results. After all, with so many close games, statistics would say you lose at least a few of those, thanks to mistakes or missed opportunities. Not so for the Wildcats, who in 2011 won eight of nine games that came down to a touchdown or less.

“You do not do that on sheer talent,” Snyder said. “It happens because there is something else there. The good things that people do outside of athletics are just those intrinsic values. It is a want-to. I think that had a major impact on the outcome of the season, or at least winning 10 games. I would like to have thought we could have won more, but [those values] had a lot to do with it.”