Sports

​Kansas State Football Coach Bill Snyder Announces He Has Throat Cancer, Will Still Coach

Snyder's doctors think his prognosis is good, and have worked out a treatment plan that lets him keep coaching.
February 13, 2017, 7:02pm
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Snyder announced Monday that he has throat cancer, but says it will not keep him from working in his capacity as Kansas State football coach. Snyder addressed recent concerns about his health in a post at the school's athletics website, saying his medical team projects "a positive outcome and have worked out a schedule that allows me to be in Kansas City for my regular treatments and still be back in the office on a regular basis through the first week of March."

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That means Snyder, despite undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, will be ready for spring practice. He plans to be on the sidelines in the fall for his 26th season as head coach.

Snyder transformed Kansas State from a pushover—that may be generous; the school had gone 3-40-1 in the four seasons before Snyder took over—into one of the top 25 programs in the country. Snyder's teams have gone 202-105-1 from 1989 to 2005 (when he retired for three seasons), and from 2009 to the present. Snyder's record includes eight victories in 18 bowl games and 13 finishes in the Associated Press top 25 poll. Six times, the Wildcats have finished in the top 10. Kansas State has produced 47 NFL draft picks, and nine of Snyder's former assistants have become head coaches at NCAA D-I schools. His overall tenure as coach has been relatively free of scandal or even controversy.

Snyder stepping away a decade ago has not been associated with an illness.

The Kansas City Star reported Friday that Snyder, 77, was being treated for an "undisclosed medical issue" and that he had taken time away from office duties in order to travel to Kansas City for hospital visits. Kansas State's campus in Manhattan is not quite two hours by car from Kansas City. Another sign that something was going on: Snyder missed the KSU-Kansas men's basketball game on Feb. 6.