“When you look back at fifth-years seniors, they won five, then they won six, then they won seven, and won 10 and 11. It wasn’t sudden, and that’s exactly what happened the first time.”
Snyder’s formula doesn’t rely on blue-chip recruits.
Instead, his coaching staff slowly and methodically mines high schools and junior colleges for players who fit their system, and then ensures they buy into the values they represent.
That’s how Klein, a lightly regarded recruit from Colorado, became a Heisman Trophy finalist, and how linebacker Arthur Brown found his way to Kansas State after a time at Miami, and how junior college defensive back Nigel Malone put himself in position to play professionally.
“It sounds like a simple thing,” Klein said, “but it’s just been amazing how Coach Snyder is always talking about improving, and every team I’ve been on every single year we’ve had here has gotten better every year.”
Brown said he appreciated Snyder’s leadership on a personal level, away from the field.
“It’s molded me as a player and as a person,” said Brown, who emerged as one of the nation’s best linebackers. “That’s invaluable in itself, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
It’s an opportunity he’s given players at Kansas State for more than two decades.
“There’s no question, his record speaks for itself,” senior kicker Anthony Cantele said. “He’s instilled a lot of leadership in this team from the ground up.”