Kansas State University

Alamo Bowl notebook: Unlike UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr., Kansas State’s Bill Snyder turned off by NFL

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has no illusions about ever coaching in the NFL.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has no illusions about ever coaching in the NFL. The Wichita Eagle

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 – with a three-year intermission – since 1989.

Mora Jr. has coached many positions and teams, bouncing between college football and the NFL. He has served 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. He has never liked the idea of coaching in the NFL.

“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 how a former K-State quarterback, likely Michael Bishop – though he wouldn’t mention the name – was set to start a 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.”

Uncertain futures? — 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 pep rally for both teams on Wednesday was attended almost exclusively by K-State fans. Thursday’s pep rally for K-State had more than 10,000 fans in attendance.

Shocker connection — UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has a connection to Wichita State in his uncle, Albert Hundley.

Albert Hundley played wide receiver for the Shockers from 1983 to 1985, with his best season coming in 1984, when he led WSU with 408 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Brett Hundley’s father, Brett Hundley Sr., played running back for Arizona.

Star power — The odds are that UCLA reserve defensive back Justin Combs won’t see the field in Friday’s Alamo Bowl — the redshirt sophomore has just one tackle in four games.

The odds are you may have heard of his father, hip-hop impresario and music/business mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs, who has an estimated net worth of $700 million, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry.

Justin Combs’ scholarship offer two years ago from UCLA came under some criticism because of his father’s money, but UCLA wasn’t the only one in the running for his services — Illinois, Wyoming and Virginia also offered scholarships.

In that same vein, UCLA is in the running for the services of wide receiver Cordell Broadus, a four-star recruit out of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High. Broadus narrowed his list of college choices to UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, Oregon State and Florida State this summer.

Why is that significant? His father is famed rapper Snoop Dogg.

Under fire — Friday’s Alamo Bowl sees first-year UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich under the microscope. Ulbrich, promoted from linebackers coach after last season, has faced heavy criticism all year long.

Even with most of its starters back, UCLAis giving up almost four more points per game (27.5) than last year — seventh in the Pac-12 — and notably got into a bizarre sideline confrontation with UCLA coach Jim Mora during a loss to Oregon.

The low point, however, came in a shocking, 31-10 loss to Stanford (6-5). This week, however, Ulbrich kept things light.

“You need to bring the (other team’s) offensive staff in here next year,” Ulbrich said during Tuesday’s news conference. “Have a fight-night weigh-in, face-to-face with altercations. It would be awesome. Yeah, that would be sweet.”

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