Bill Snyder and Jim Mora Jr. have opposite coaching backgrounds.
Snyder rose up the college ranks until he became the offensive coordinator at Iowa and ultimately took over at Kansas State, where he has stayed since 1989.
Mora Jr. has coached many different positions and teams, bouncing between college football and the NFL. He has worked as head coach for the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and now the UCLA Bruins.
More and more coaches are following the path of Mora Jr. But Snyder will never be one of them. He has never liked the idea of coaching in the NFL.
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“I’ve just never been interested in it,” Snyder said.
Control is the main reason why.
“It always concerned me when you’ve got players that make more money than their coaches,” Snyder said. “You kind of wonder who is the authority figure in that alignment.”
Snyder went on to tell a story about a former K-State quarterback, likely Michael Bishop though he wouldn’t mention the name, who was set to start an NFL game until management brought in a high-priced backup. The night before the game, Snyder said, the backup went to management and insisted he start instead.
“He got a call in the middle of the night and said you’re not starting anymore,” Snyder said. “You know, it’s who has the control and whether you can really coach or not. You see the same thing. There is talk right now in the NBA with a player and a coach and who has control over the program. That’s something that, I’m not a control freak, but I think it’s important that you have control over your program.”
Mora Jr. said he thought Snyder would make an excellent NFL coach, if he ever changes his mind.
“Football at every level is about fundamentals,” he said. “It’s about effort, it’s about discipline, it’s about technique, it’s about talent and it’s about having standards. I don’t think it’s about formations and plays. I think it’s about coaching.”
Snyder and Mora were both asked about their coaching futures Thursday.
On when he may retire, Snyder said “I have no idea.”
On whether or not he may interested in the vacant San Francisco 49ers job, Mora Jr. said, “I have no plans to coach anywhere but UCLA at this time.”
Fan edge for K-State
The Wildcats should enjoy a hefty fan advantage over UCLA. K-State administrators predict as many as 25,000 of their fans will be in attendance Friday, while UCLA has struggled to sell a quarter of its 12,000-seat ticket allotment. An Alamo Bowl prep rally for both teams on Wednesday was attended almost exclusively by K-State fans.