K-Stated

Kansas State Q&A: When will Bill Snyder retire? Plus Barry Brown, Dean Wade, and football recruiting

K-State coach Bill Snyder and his team prepare to take the field Saturday afternoon to meet Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. (January 2, 2016)
K-State coach Bill Snyder and his team prepare to take the field Saturday afternoon to meet Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. (January 2, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

This week, we have questions on Bill Snyder’s coaching future beyond 2016, football recruiting, Dean Wade, K-State’s upcoming basketball game against Iowa State and plenty more. Let’s dive right in. Thanks, as always, for asking.

Let me start by saying, I have no idea how much longer Bill Snyder will continue to coach at K-State. I’m not sure he knows, either.

But I have long maintained that Snyder will coach for as long as he is in good health, the Wildcats are winning and he thinks he is a positive influence on his players. He also requires the support of his family, but they aren’t putting any pressure on him to retire. As long as those factors are all positives in his mind, I expect him to stay on the job. This is what he loves. It wouldn’t shock me if he keeps coaching for three more seasons.

The end does seem to be in sight, though. All season, I was confident he would return for another year, especially when K-State won its final three games to make the Liberty Bowl. But I’m less certain about his future beyond 2016. There is a chance this will be his last go. We will just have to wait and see.

The odd thing about K-State’s announcement is that it frames Snyder’s future on a year-by-year basis. The school has essentially announced that there are no guarantees he will be back after 2016. That adds uncertainty to the situation.

I have long joked that a Snyder hologram was the best way for Snyder to coach forever, but this plan seems superior. The only holdup (aside from the technology required to move his brain into a robot) would be finding a suit, windbreaker and Nike Cortez shoes large enough to fit. I can’t see a Snyder robot so scantily clad on the sideline.

Nice work on the TMNT throwback, by the way. That guy was one of the best, and creepiest, villains of my childhood.

Absolutely. The man is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and no one knows how to win at K-State better.

During his second stint as coach, Snyder has gone 57-33 with a Big 12 championship. This season was a step in the wrong direction, but 6-7 was a solid record, all things considered. With Jesse Ertz and Dante Barnett healthy, things might have been much different. Expect a rebound in 2016.

I say the Wildcats win by five. Iowa State is a good matchup for K-State, at least at home. K-State is a perfect 3-0 in the series under Bruce Weber at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Cyclones don’t play much defense and they are low on depth. K-State will score at a higher rate than normal against them and its defense will frustrate Iowa State’s players. Iowa State, fresh off losses to Baylor and Texas, is struggling right now. I don’t see it turning things around on the road. I expect K-State to take advantage and get its first victory over a ranked team.

From the sound of it, Bruce Weber struggles with this daily. I think Dean Wade needs to understand that he is not an ordinary freshman. His teammates don’t want him to yield to older players and pass. They want him to shoot and be one of the team’s top scorers. When he has been at his best this season, so has K-State.

Maybe hypnotize him and make him think he’s a junior.

I think Dean Wade has the most upside. If he improves and matures and gains confidence he can be as good as he wants to be, one of the best bigs to come through the program in quite some time.

But Barry Brown is also scoring at a high level right now. So it’s a close race between those two.

As soon as his professional basketball career ends, most likely. K-State will definitely honor its leading scorer at some point. Scheduling is often the most difficult part of that process. It all probably depends on when he can make it to Manhattan for a weekend.

Dante Barnett, assuming he returns for a fifth season and then tries to make it in the NFL, will be K-State’s best candidate. Heck, he may be K-State’s only candidate. I don’t see any surefire pros in next year’s crop of seniors. Maybe Charmeachealle Moore or Jordan Willis could get in the conversation with big senior years.

In all likelihood, K-State’s draft streak (at least one player drafted in 22 consecutive years) will hinge on Barnett in 2017.

Before Thursday, I assumed Zach Shackelford would end up at Texas. The three-star offensive lineman lives near Austin and he’s finishing his recruiting with an official visit to see the Longhorns up close. Not a great combination for the Wildcats. But K-State held nothing back, sending Bill Snyder to Belton, Texas to visit Shackelford. Snyder rarely leaves Manhattan for recruiting purposes, and that could pull enough weight to keep Shackelford committed.

I would still consider Texas the slim favorite to get him, but he will have a difficult choice to make. K-State doesn’t normally go head-to-head with Texas for recruits. It will be fascinating to see how it turns out.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

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