The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Bill Synder’s 12 Coaching Princpales

Posted by David Leslie on September 21, 2006

Take from Bill Cury’s article on ESPN 

Snyder Solution

As I racked my brain to remember someone who could address this moment with authority, I had a flashback to a speech at last year’s convention of the American Football Coaches Association. Former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder knows exactly how to handle both sets of circumstances. He did so against all the odds, sustained excellence and now calmly reflects upon it in the simplest terms. His address was not like any I have ever heard from a coach. There was no flash, dash or touting of his systems. There was no ego trip about how long and hard he trained. There was simply a careful explanation of how one of the greatest college football achievements of all time was accomplished.

For the uninitiated, Manhattan, Kansas, was considered the end of the earth in football terms prior to Snyder’s arrival. Coaches snickered about the “impossible” job. After Kansas State’s transformation under Snyder, which is a matter of record, people like Barry Switzer were calling him “The Coach of the Century.” Only people who have built programs understand just how remarkable his accomplishments were. He is the only coach I know who has a major highway named for him. Through it all, he remains the same guy, calm, unaffected and true to himself.  

There are 12 principles. Here they are, unembellished. Some are obvious, and some will surprise you. They are self-explanatory, so I will present them as he did:

1. I promise we will get better every day.
2. Be where you are.
3. We must have the total commitment from the president of our university.
4. This is the most complicated time in history for our young people. There is an epidemic of teen suicide in our country. For teens, the single most prescribed medication is for depression.
5. Bring better people and better students into the program every day. Find a way.
6. Involve as many people as possible.
7. Build a wonderful relationship with the faculty. Our goals are the same as faculty goals.
8. Perseverance is a must.
9. Expectations are established by the leader. I will set the example.
10. Tamp down limitations. Find ways to eliminate each one.
11. Have the players understand they will not be judged by the scoreboard. We will assess progress.
12. I will make the decision most beneficial to our program … every time.


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