JANUARY 13, 2021 - At the Hilton Omaha Hotel - 1001 Cass St, OMAHA, NEBRASKA
1st recipient Milt Tenopir
2nd recipient Jim Ridlon
•Candidate predominately played, coached and/ or made extraordinary contributions to the interior line of college football; and/or made contributions to the Outland Trophy.
•Candidate exhibited the characteristics of integrity, sportsmanship and fair play associated with Tom Osborne.
•Candidate continues to demonstrate a record of leadership in the community and continues to hold a record of good citizenship within and beyond the athletic field that is consistent with one of the award sponsors, Rotary Club of Omaha’s primary motto, “Service Above Self”.
Tom Osborne Legacy Award is established to recognize an individual who is a:
“Winner On and Off the Field”.
While winning 255 games from 1973-1997, 13 conference championships and three national titles as the head man, Coach Osborne was equally concerned about his players’ development and life after the game. His teams produced more Academic All-Americans than any other in college football during his era. He emphasized the full development of his players’ lives – academic success, character development, a good spiritual foundation and involvement in the community.
Few if any coaches have impacted college football more than Tom Osborne when it comes to producing great linemen. His legacy of building a strong foundation in the trenches, whether it was on offense or defense, endures to this day.
Coach Osborne has been involved with the most Outland Trophy Winners in the 69- year history of the award. Starting with Larry Jacobson in 1971, Coach Osborne has been associated with all of Nebraska’s eight different Outland Winners, either as an assistant, head coach or athletic director. During Coach Osborne’s head coaching tenure, Nebraska’s ability to produce great linemen was unparalleled in major-college football. In only six of Tom Osborne’s 25 seasons as head coach did the Huskers fail to produce an All-American on the offensive line. His teams generated at least one first-team, all-conference offensive lineman every season.
Tom Osborne not only has enjoyed success as a player, coach and athletic director, but he also has made a positive impact during six years of service in the United States’ Congress and with the founding of Team Mates, one of the country’s premier mentoring programs.
The Outland Trophy – Tom Osborne Legacy Award is established to recognize an individual who is a “Winner On and Off the Field”. A national search is conducted and candidates are selected by the Outland Trophy Tom Osborne Legacy Award Committee.
The Tom Osborne Legacy Award presented — by Osborne to Bill Snyder— at the Outland Trophy Award Dinner Sponsored by Werner Enterprises at the downtown Hilton Omaha.
If you’re a college football fan, or even a sports fan in general, it is a remarkable scene, One you will not forget!
Bill Snyder, 81, who retired as the Kansas State coach after the 2018 season, will be in Omaha to accept the award from Osborne, Nebraska’s legendary coach, at the 24th annual dinner.
This is the seventh year for the Tom Osborne Legacy Award, which goes to a player, coach or a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the interior line of college football; and/or has made contributions to the Outland Trophy. The recipient must exhibit the characteristics of integrity, sportsmanship and fair play associated with Tom Osborne and demonstrate a record of leadership in the community, Furthermore the person must continue to hold a record of good citizenship within and beyond the athletic field that is consistent with the one of the award’s sponsors, Rotary International’s primary moto, “Service Above Self.”
Previous recipients of the Tom Osborne Legacy Award: Milt Tenopir (2015), Jim Ridlon (2016), Barry Switzer (2017), Bobby Bowden (2018), Frank Solich (2019) and Fisher DeBerry (2020).
Snyder is considered the architect of one of great turnarounds in college football history at Kansas State. Inheriting a program in 1989 that was in a 0-26-1 slump when he was hired and had just one bowl appearance in its first 93 seasons, Snyder took Kansas State to 11 straight bowls from 1993-2003 and won 80 percent of his games (109 victories). Kansas State, averaging 10 victories a season, was the second winningest program in major-college football over that period. In 2003, the Wildcats won the Big 12 championship and defeated No. 1 Oklahoma, 35-7. His 1998 team held a No. 1 ranking.
Following a three-year hiatus (starting with the 2006 season), Snyder returned to the sidelines from 2009-2018. During that time frame his teams accumulated a 79-49 record and went to eight bowl games. Included in the second tenure were double-digit victory seasons in 2011 (10-3) and 2012 (11-2). The 2012 Wildcats captured the program’s second Big 12 Championship.
Snyder has been an iconic figure in Manhattan for many years. On Nov. 16, 2005 the Kansas Board of Regents issued a proclamation, changing the name of Kansas State’s football stadium to Bill Snyder Family Stadium. In 2015, Snyder became only the fourth person to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an active coach. A five-time national coach of the year honoree and seven-time conference coach of the year recipient, Snyder compiled a 215-117-1 record (64.7 winning percentage) in his 27 years as the head football coach at Kansas State, leaving as the 20th winningest coach in FBS history.
Bill Snyder Cont.
Bill Snyder had his first collegiate coaching experience in 1966, serving as a graduate assistant coach for the USC Trojans. He next worked as a head coach for several years in the California high school ranks. He then served as an assistant football coach, and also coached swimming, at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, from 1974 to 1975. From 1976 to 1978, Snyder worked as an assistant coach at North Texas State, under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry.
Snyder and Fry moved together to the University of Iowa in 1979, with Snyder serving as Fry’s offensive coordinator for the next 10 years. He helped Fry build Iowa from a program that had not had a winning season since 1961 into a two-time Big Ten champion. Snyder was hired as the 32nd head coach of the Kansas State University Wildcats following the 1988 season.Prior to Snyder’s first season in 1989, Sports Illustrated published an article about Kansas State football entitled “Futility U,” which labeled the school “America’s most hapless team.” In hopes of distancing K-State from its losing history, Snyder had art professor Tom Brookhalter create a new logo for the team’s helmets, a stylized wildcat’s head known as the “Powercat.”
Kansas State University: first tenure, 1989–2005
When Snyder was hired at K-State for the first time on November 24, 1988, he inherited a situation that was several times worse than the one he’d found when he arrived in Iowa with Fry. Kansas State had a cumulative record of 299–510 (.370) in 93 years of play, which was easily the most losses of any team in Division I-A at the time. The school had been to only one bowl game (the 1982 Independence Bowl), had not won a conference title since 1934 and had enjoyed four winning seasons in the previous 44 years (including two in the previous 34 years). The program had also not won a game since October 1986, going 0–26–1 in that time.Snyder won only one game in his first season, beating the recently renamed North Texas, but it was a significant win because it was K-State’s first win in three seasons. The game was especially thrilling, with a touchdown pass coming on the last play of the game. In Snyder’s second season, in 1990, the Wildcats improved to 5–6. The five wins posted by the team had been matched only twice in the prior 17 years at the school, in 1973 (5–6) and 1982 (6–5).
The 1991 season saw another breakthrough when the Wildcats finished with a winning record of 7–4 and narrowly missed a bowl bid. It was only the second winning season at Kansas State since 1970, and the team’s 4–3 conference record was only the third winning conference mark since 1934.
Two years later, Snyder led the Wildcats to the 1993 Copper Bowl. It was the school’s second bowl game, its first bowl win and the first of its 11 consecutive bowl appearances from 1993 to 2003—of which it won six—a streak matched by only six other teams. The 1993 season also marked the second nine-win season in school history and the team’s first ranking in the final top-20 poll.
During the 1995 season, Snyder led the Wildcats to their first 10-win season. They also finished sixth in the AP Poll and seventh in the Coaches’ Poll–their first top-ten finish in school history. This included a 41-7 thrashing of then-No. 6 Kansas in what is still the only Governor’s Cup between two ranked teams. That win was also Snyder’s 40th victory at K-State, vaulting him past Mike Ahearn to become the winningest coach in school history.
Having never before won 11 games in a season, the Wildcats hit their stride from 1997 to 2000 with four consecutive 11-win seasons. By this time, the “Powercat” had all but replaced Kansas State’s longtime mascot, “Willie the Wildcat,” whose costume was redesigned to resemble the Powercat head.
During the 1998 season, Kansas State posted an undefeated 11–0 regular season and earned its first number 1 ranking in the national polls, just ten years after being named the worst program in the country by Sports Illustrated. They lost to the Texas A&M Aggies in the Big 12 Championship Game, which has been called one of the greatest games played. The loss stopped them from reaching the National Championship and sent them to the Alamo Bowl, where they lost and finished the season 11–2. In the 2003 season, the team won the Big 12 championship — the school’s second major conference title and their first since 1934. At the time, the 69-year gap between conference titles was the longest in Division I history. They beat #1 ranked Oklahoma in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game, 35–7. Leading up to the game, many college football analysts called Oklahoma one of the best teams. With an 11–4 record in 2003, Kansas State also became the only team in the country to win 11 games in six of the previous seven years and just the second program in the history of college football to win 11 games six times in a seven-year stretch.
Following disappointing seasons in 2004 and 2005, when the Wildcats went 4–7 and 5–6, respectively, Snyder retired from Kansas State on November 15, 2005 with an overall record of 136–68–1 (.667). Not only did this make him far and away the winningest coach in Kansas State history, but his 136 wins were as many as his combined predecessors had won in the 54 years prior to his arrival.
The day after Snyder announced his retirement, K-State renamed its football stadium Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium in his and his family’s honor. The school had originally wanted to rename it simply Bill Snyder Stadium, but when Snyder got word of the plans, he insisted that they name it after his family — “the people I care about most.” Ron Prince, formerly an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia, was named Bill Snyder’s replacement on December 5, 2005.
Snyder’s first tenure at Kansas State is still considered one of the most successful rebuilding projects in collegiate history. In recognition of his rebuilding work, Hall of Fame football coach Barry Switzer once stated, “He’s not the coach of the year, he’s not the coach of the decade, he’s the coach of the century.”
Kansas State University: second tenure, 2009–2018
After being out of coaching for three years, on November 24, 2008, Bill Snyder was named for a second term as head football coach at Kansas State University, beginning in the 2009 season. He is one of the few coaches to coach in a stadium or arena that is named for him; as previously mentioned, the former KSU Stadium was renamed for him on the day after he announced his original retirement.
In the first season of Snyder’s second tenure, the team posted a 6–6 record overall and finished tied for second in the Big 12 North division with a 4–4 conference mark. In his second season in 2010, the team had a 7–6 record and played in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl against the Big East’s Syracuse University at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
Snyder at 2017 Big 12 Media Days
Snyder earned his 150th win with a season opening victory over Eastern Kentucky on September 3, 2011. During the same season, Snyder became the first FBS coach to have a son (Sean) as an assistant and a grandson (Tate) playing for him at the same time. Coach Snyder led the 2011 team to a 10–2 record in the regular season, finishing second in the Big 12, and earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl was K-State’s first “major” bowl since the 2004 Fiesta Bowl. They lost to The University of Arkansas 29-16. Following the season, Snyder was named Woody Hayes Coach of the Year.
In the 2012 season, Snyder led the team to its first Big 12 Conference championship since 2003. The 2012 team started the season 10–0 and reached the school’s first #1 ranking in the BCS standings, before falling to the Baylor Bears in week 11. K-State represented the conference in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, losing to the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks 35–17. Following the season, Snyder won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.
Snyder has held the head coaching position at Kansas State longer than any other coach. His 215 wins are not only far and away the most in KSU history (no one else has reached 40 wins), but also more than all other KSU football coaches from 1928 to present combined (189 wins). During his tenure, K-State produced 34 AP All-Americans, 47 NFL Draft picks, and 46 first-team academic All-Americans.
On January 31, 2013, it was announced that Snyder’s contract was extended through the 2017 season.
On August 9, 2018 it was announced that Bill Snyder had signed a 5-year extension that will run through the 2022 season, worth $3.45 million with $300,000 bonuses, and incentives with them to be determined after 2 years.
On December 2, 2018, Snyder announced his retirement from coaching college football. Snyder finished his career with Kansas State with 215 victories and two Big 12 championships. He is far and away the winningest coach in Kansas State history; no other coach has even crossed the 40-win mark. Additionally, he accounted for over 40 percent of Kansas State’s all-time wins as of 2018.
Bill Snyder Personal Life
In addition to his work as the football coach, Snyder was active in raising funds for the library at Kansas State University. He also currently serves on the Staley School Advancement Council, honorary chairman of the K-State Changing Lives Campaign, and is past president of the Friends of the Libraries organization at K-State. The Staley School of Leadership Studies has also started the Bill Snyder Leadership Fellows in honor of Coach Snyder himself. In the window of retirement, Snyder invested his time in a Kansas State Department of Education endeavor called Kansas Mentors, becoming the chair.
Snyder and his wife Sharon have five children: Sean, Ross, Shannon, Meredith, and Whitney. They also have eight grandchildren.