Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder arrived in New York on Sunday with a traveling party of 30. Snyder flew on a chartered flight with extended family and close friends. They checked into the historic Waldorf Astoria, experienced fine dining and began to celebrate Tuesday’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Everything about the trip was first class, fitting a once-in-a-lifetime honor only three other active coaches have experienced.
Still, the magnitude of the moment hasn’t hit Snyder. He felt like any other tourist in the Big Apple watching his wife try to handle room assignments Sunday evening. He called into a media teleconference to promote K-State’s appearance in the Liberty Bowl next month from the hotel lobby while people-watching and thinking about Arkansas all at once.
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It was hard for him to kick back and enjoy a personal milestone.
“Multiple directions sounds appropriate,” Snyder said of his focus. “There are a lot of things going on at this point in time. I guess there are sprinklings of it here and there, but by and large (celebrating) it is something you put off for a while. Eventually it will sink in.”
Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise. Snyder rarely publicly celebrates after victories. He’s always on to the next game, pushing to be 1-0, as he likes to say, for another week. Why change now?
Make no mistake, though. This means a great deal to Snyder. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame has long been a goal. He will make time to savor the experience.
“I am honored and humbled and I truly appreciate the selection that has been made,” Snyder said. “To make the Hall of Fame makes me think about everything that went along with it and all the people that made it happen.
“But I haven’t totally processed it in such a way. It hasn’t had a tremendous emotional impact on me, but I’m sure it will.”
Snyder is looking forward to his speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony at 7 p.m. Tuesday in front of a large crowd of fellow coaches and inductees.
He is already thanking the players and coaches that helped him reach this point, buying into his system when he first arrived at K-State. They allowed him to change one of the nation’s worst football programs into a consistent winner.
Snyder is the school’s most successful coach, winning 193 games and taking the Wildcats to 17 bowls. But none of that would have been possible without the help of countless players, assistants, fans and family.
“There are so many people who have made this happen,” Snyder said. “It’s not a Bill Snyder award. There are a lot of people over an extended period of time who made it happen and have been so helpful in my life.”
He is glad many of them are in New York to experience the Hall of Fame by his side. It may not be easy for Snyder to throw a party over his own achievements, but they make it easier.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett
College Football Hall of Fame
What: 2015 induction ceremony
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Other inductees: Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska; Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma; Bob Breunig, LB, Arizona State; Sean Brewer, DL, Millsaps (Miss.); Ruben Brown, OL, Pittsburgh; Wes Chandler, SE, Florida; Thom Gatewood, SE, Notre Dame; Dick Jauron, RB, Yale; Clinton Jones, HB, Michigan State; Lincoln Kennedy, OL, Washington; Rob Lytle, RB, Michigan; Michael Payton, QB, Marshall; Art Still, DE, Kentucky; Zach Thomas, LB, Texas Tech; Ricky Williams, RB, Texas; Jim Tressel, coach, Youngstown State and Ohio State.