Kansas State sets a record for cash contributions
A year after disillusioned donors threatened to cut support for
cash-strapped Kansas State following revelations of the outgoing
administration’s financial mismanagement, the Wildcats have set a
record for cash contributions.
Bill Snyder may be the least surprised. The passion and loyalty
of Kansas State fans is something he knows well heading into his
19th season as head football coach.
”That’s why I’m sitting at this table today,” Snyder said
Friday at Kansas State’s annual media day. ”If it wasn’t for them,
I wouldn’t be here. It’s been about people. What makes them so
special? I’m not sure I can answer the question.”
Year after year, the Wildcats have to get by with one of the
smallest budgets in the Big 12, a shoestring compared with wealthy
titans such as Texas and Oklahoma, and even the well-heeled Kansas
Jayhawks down the road.
But with $14.47 million donated in 2009-10, the Wildcats broke
their old record by more than $4 million. The money does more than
help keep the athletic department afloat. It also reminds everyone
of the loyalty and family-like relationship K-Staters have with
their teams, Snyder said. It’s something players and coaches both
”I think there’s a genuine, sincere, caring loyalty they
possess,” Snyder said.
Snyder had retired after 17 successful seasons in which he
earned former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer’s vote for ”coach of
the century.” But three years later when his successor was
dismissed and the Wildcats were in trouble, he put the golf clubs
and the fishing pole back in the closet and dusted off his
Now, following a 6-6 record last year, he’s ready to embark on
year No. 2 of tour No. 2, with a goal of rewarding Kansas State
fans with a winner.
”For me, it goes back to when I first came here,” he said.
”That’s why I came. That’s why I stayed. That’s why I came back.
If it wasn’t for the people of Kansas State, I wouldn’t be
Improving on last year’s record won’t be automatic, but no one
would count Snyder out. He’ll go into the season with senior
running back Daniel Thomas, who led the Big 12 last year with 1,265
”Even though we didn’t go to a bowl game last year, I think the
leadership started to emerge in the locker room,” Thomas said.
”We’re a better team than we were last year.”
Thomas’ year was even more remarkable because he played almost
the entire season with a sore shoulder.
”I hurt it the last play of the first game,” he said. ”After
that, it continued to get worse. It’s 100 percent right now.”
Exactly who’ll be handing off to Thomas still is up in the air.
Snyder said three candidates are close, including Carson Coffman,
who was the starter at the outset of last season.
”I think the sky is the limit for us,” Thomas said. ”We have
a lot of playmakers on offense so I think we can be as good as we
want to be.”