Sny­der’s suc­cess goes by the book

Pub­li­ca­tion for kids takes Kansas State goals to young­sters.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Kel­lis Robi­nett Wi­chita Eagle

Af­ter decades of preach­ing his 16 goals for suc­cess to Kansas State foot­ball play­ers, Bill Sny­der is ready to share that same wis­dom with a younger au­di­ence.

Sny­der is the co-au­thor of a soon-to-be-re­leased chil­dren’s book that fo­cuses on his fa­mous goals, en­ti­tled “Take it From Me.” The 32-page book ex­plains the im­por­tance of ev­ery goal with rhyming text and car­toon il­lus­tra­tions of Sny­der coach­ing kit­tens in K-State uni­forms.

The 16 goals are go­ing from the Wild­cats’ locker room to the play room.

“I hope that this will be a part of his le­gacy,” said Jef­fer­son Knapp, who helped Sny­der write the book. “It was a no-brainer for us. His 16 goals will al­ways be preached at Kansas State. It was re­ally easy to trans­late them into a chil­dren’s book that en­tire fam­i­lies can en­joy.”

The idea for the book came from a sim­ple place. Not long af­ter team­ing up with for­mer Wi­chita State bas­ket­ball star Ron Baker on the chil­dren’s book “Too Big to Dream Small,” Knapp won­dered aloud if there was any­one at K-State with a good story to tell.

When a fam­ily mem­ber sug­gested Sny­der, Knapp took a look at the sou­venir cups he had kept from his last trip to Sny­der Fam­ily Sta­dium. The 16 goals were plas­tered all over them. In a mat­ter of mo­ments, Knapp could see a fin­ished book in his mind.

“It was the most ob­vi­ous thing ever,” he said.

Sny­der’s 16 goals have long been pop­u­lar among K-State foot­ball play­ers and fans. They are: com­mit­ment, un­selfish­ness, unity, im­prove, be tough, self-dis­ci­pline, great ef­fort, en­thu­si­asm, elim­i­nate mis­takes, never give up, don’t ac­cept los­ing, no self-lim­i­ta­tions, ex­pect to win, con­sis­tency, lead­er­ship and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Those goals have helped Sny­der turn K-State’s once mori­bund foot­ball team into a con­sis­tent win­ner. Since ar­riv­ing in Man­hat­tan in 1989, Sny­der has 202 vic­to­ries, 18 bowl ap­pear­ances and two Big 12 cham­pi­onships over two coach­ing stints.

When Knapp ap­proached Sny­der about the idea of a chil­dren’s book, he wasn’t sure if the 77-year old foot­ball coach would go for it, es­pe­cially once news spread that he was bat­tling throat cancer. But af­ter months of ex­chang­ing hand­writ­ten notes by mail, they agreed to part­ner on the project.

Sny­der pro­vided plenty of in­put on the book. Then Knapp made his words rhyme, and Tim Lad­wig of Wi­chita pro­vided il­lus­tra­tions.

For Knapp, the most ful­fill­ing part of the process was watch­ing Sny­der smile as he read the fin­ished prod­uct. The book crosses gen­res. “It is re­ally more of a fam­ily book,” Knapp said. “That is ap­pro­pri­ate to say, be­cause fam­ily is what K-State stands for. Peo­ple of all ages will ap­pre­ci­ate it. The mes­sage is for ev­ery­body, not just lit­tle kids.”

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