dium at 2:30 p.m. Saturday when OSU hosts the Wildcats.
Snyder’s letter-writing to players, coaches and people of all walks of life has become legendary.
“If a young man gets hurt, I want to let him know I’m thinking of him,” Snyder once told ESPN. “If somebody does something that maybe others see as a reason they lost a ballgame, I’ll respond to that, because no one loses a game. If somebody has a good performance, you certainly want to let them know you thought they did well.”
Countless letters to countless individuals. A small gesture that carries a hefty meaning.
It was a situation like Snyder described that generated his letter to Gundy.
Back in 1989, in the first year of Snyder’s tenure, Gundy entered a game in the second half with a torn
knee ligament. He hadn’t played the first half but came in with the Cowboys trailing in the third quarter.
Late in the game, with his knee heavily braced, Gundy threw a touchdown pass that gave the Cowboys a 17-13 win.
“The next week I got a nice, long, handwritten note from guess who? Coach Snyder,” Gundy said. “To me, that was a big deal.
“And at that time, he was just an offensive coordinator from Iowa that people thought had completely lost his mind to take the Kansas State job. As history tells you, that’s a pretty cool deal.”
Gundy figures the letter is in a box at his mom’s house, where she’s stashed a lot of memories from his playing career.
While the moment had a big impact on Gundy, it was his coach at the time, Pat Jones, who influenced him to write letters of his own.
“Pat Jones taught me in my first year of coaching that there’s nothing like a handwritten letter,” Gundy said. “He taught me in 1990 that you need to learn to write handwritten notes to people. People enjoy those and they feel more personal.”
Most of Gundy’s letters have gone to coaches and other individuals. Lanning was the first player he had written to.
“I was always hesitant about that, because they’re not my players,” Gundy said. “I probably should’ve done more of that. But in the end, people take it for what it’s worth.”