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77-Year-Old Bill Snyder Plans To Coach Through Throat Cancer Treatment

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bill Snyder, Kansas State’s 77-year-old head coach, announced on Monday morning that he’s been receiving treatment for throat cancer for the past three weeks. In a statement, Snyder said he plans to continue coaching the Wildcats while he undergoes treatment.

His treatment plan is being handled by doctors from both the medical centers at University of Texas and the University of Kansas. The plan is for his son, Sean, to keep the Wildcats “on track” while Snyder continues receiving his treatments in Kansas City; the elder Snyder will routinely make the two-hour drive back to Manhattan, Kan. following treatment, where he will lead Kansas State as the oldest head coach in Division I football.

I have been diagnosed with throat cancer and have been receiving outpatient treatment at the KU Medical Center for about three weeks and am getting along very well. The doctors and staffs at both KU Med and M.D. Anderson (in Houston, Texas) have been great; working so very well together to finalize the overall treatment plan which is being conducted in Kansas City. Both ‘teams’ have projected a positive outcome and have worked out a schedule that allows me to be in Kansas City for my regular treatments and still be back in the office on a regular basis through the first week of March. Sean, along with our coaching and support staffs, remain highly productive in carrying out their responsibilities keeping us on track.


The five-year contract extension he signed in 2013 runs out in 2018 but because he’s Bill Snyder, he’s got a provision in the contract that calls for an annual rollover (meaning he’s the coach for as long as he chooses to be) and another that will make him a quarter-million dollars per year as a special assistant to the athletic director, should he ever retire.

The upcoming season will be his 26th as head coach of the Wildcats, though this is Snyder’s second stint as the Kansas State head coach. Snyder took a three-year hiatus starting in 2005 to spend time with family before returning to his position in 2008.

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