'Clay begged to talk to him': Kansas State legend Bill Snyder explains how son ended up coaching at USC instead of Nebraska
Bill Snyder’s great Kansas State teams were known for superlative special teams play, a philosophy and skillset Snyder brought with him after two coaching stops with legendary head coach and special teams ace Hayden Fry at North Texas and the University of Iowa.
Snyder the elder must have passed down the book of secrets to his son Sean, who just spent his first season at USC coaching special teams and put together one of the country’s top groups.
But Sean, according to a story posted at 247 Sports, was headed to the Big XII, his dad’s old league, and the University of Nebraska when Trojans coach Clay Helton placed an emergency call to coach Snyder the elder.
Bill told the story of what went down this week on the “Wildcat Insider” show on 1350 KMAN out of Manhattan.
“I know Clay, Coach Helton, was extremely pleased with Sean,” Bill said during the radio interview. “It was kind of an interesting thing; Sean was all set to go to Nebraska with Scott Frost, and Clay Helton called me and wanted Sean. Clay begged me to talk Sean into going to USC. I told him I couldn’t talk him into it, but I would certainly tell him about my experiences there and what I felt about it, and he’d make his own decision. Clay has been very pleased with Sean.”
Nebraska under coach Tom Osborne tormented the entire Big 8, then Big XII, while Snyder was at Kansas State, including the 1997 season when the Cornhuskers won a national title with current head coach Scott Frost at quarterback. Nebraska went 13-0 that year and smoked Snyder’s 17th ranked Wildcats 56-26 in an early October game in Lincoln.
The son was all set to let bygones be bygones when the lure of Southern California came calling. It was either the quiet winter prairie in Lincoln, or the ocean and palm trees in Los Angeles. Snyder the younger followed the old adage: Go West, young man, and everything seems to be working out.