By RON PRESTON
Over 150 Kansas State male student athletes will be wearing diamond rings next year, and they say diamonds are a girls best friend.
These Wildcat athletes will wear their diamond rings in pride as champions of the Big 12 in football, men’s basketball and baseball – all in one season,
K-State becomes one of just four schools in the BCS era to win football, men’s basketball and baseball conference titles in the same season. Only Texas can say the same thing as a member of the Big 12 Conference doing so in 2005-2006.
Bill Snyder brought the school’s second Big 12 football championship to K-State following the first in 2003. Snyder was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year.
In men’s basketball, first year Head Coach Bruce Weber brought home the program’s first Big 12 championship and first regular season conference title since winning the Big Eight in 1977, 36 years ago. Weber was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Coach of the Year.
The baseball team won their programs first ever league title since 1933, 80 years ago. Big 12 Coach of the Year Brad Hill led the bat cats to be the first non-Texas school to win the conference championship since former member Nebraska did in 2005.
Kansas State and Texas join Stanford (1999-2000) and Louisville (2012-2013) as the BCS schools to collect such a remarkable trifecta since the BCS era began in 1998.
“It all started with coach Snyder,” baseball coach Brad Hill was quoted as saying following his teams’ remarkable year.
Hill like Weber credit Snyder with formulating the model of leadership and standards to reach the championship level and begun to use these goals in their own programs.
Athletic Director John Currie is often heard quoting one of Snyder’s goals when referring to the success of the other K-State Athletic programs.
Snyder has been a constant to the Kansas State football program from 1989 through 2005, and again 2009 to the present.
Within that constant he has formulated 16 Goals for success. These goals also create the work ethic and description that goes with them. With players and coaches from all backgrounds, having a single set of core values unifies them under one vision. If each player and coach adheres to the goals as individuals, then team success will follow.
Snyder believes the 16 goals are not only critical to success on the field, but also in everyday life. Once someone has dedicated themselves to doing things the right way, their probability of success in any area is dramatically increased.
Snyder’s 16 Goals Form the Foundation of the program and life
1. Commitment – to common goals and to being successful.
2. Unselfishness – there is no “I” in team.
3. Unity – come together as never before.
4. Improve – everyday, as a player, person and student.
5. Be Tough – mentally and physically.
6. Self-Discipline – do it right, don’t accept less.
7. Great Effort
9. Eliminate Mistakes – don’t beat yourself.
10. Never Give Up
11. Don’t Accept Losing – if you do so one time, it will be easy to do so for the rest of your life.
12. No self-limitatations – expect more of yourself.
13. Expect to win – and truly believe we will.
14. Consistency – your very, very best everyday.
15. Leadership – everyone can set the example.
16. Responsibility – you are responsible for your own performance.
Every year following the football program’s completion at the annual football awards banquet, Coach Snyder personally selects a squad member or members that best represents the 16 goals.
This past season, Abilene’s own Curry Sexton and Cody Whitehair each were recipients of the 16- goal awards presented by Coach Snyder.
Sexton was presented two awards, Commitment and Enthusiasm.
“The 16 goals are entrenched in our program and you live and die by those 16 goals and as long as you follow them you are going to have some success, because if you do all of those things, if you are committed, if you are tough, if you never give up and you don’t accept losing and all those different things and all those intrinsic values go a long ways in your development,” Sexton said.
Whitehair took home the Improve goal award.
“Like Curry said it is just who you are that defines us as to who we are, but not only is the football team using Coach Snyder’s 16 goals but other teams at K-State are starting to pick up on them too and that will benefit them as well,” Whitehair commented.