Kansas State Athletics

Longtime Bill Snyder assistant Del Miller retires

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Kansas State co-offensive coordinator Del Miller, who coached alongside Bill Snyder for 20 years, is retiring.

“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I’ve had here at Kansas State,” Miller said in a released statement. “I’ve enjoyed my time with many players that I’ve coached through the years. They are the guys that make it worthwhile. I certainly want to express my thanks to Coach Snyder for the opportunity he presented me in 1989.”

Miller was the first assistant coaching hire under Snyder when Snyder was originally hired by the university. Miller has orchestrated 12 school passing records as a team and has coached a good number of some of the best offensive players in school history, including former quarterback Collin Klein (who is expected to join the Kansas State staff as an assistant).

“I am very grateful to Del for staying with us as long as he has. He is a major contributor to the foundation of Kansas State Football as we know it today,” Snyder said. “Having been the very first assistant coach hired for us in 1988 and still with us today, speaks volumes. Del left the program for four years to serve as a head coach but came back to us shortly thereafter because this was where he wanted to be. Del has been a great contributor to our program, our University and our community,”

Prior to joining Snyder at Kansas State, Miller was a key assistant under former Iowa head coach Hayden Fry from 1978 through 1988. He took on a role as head coach of Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State) in 1995. He then spent a year as a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 1999 and offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2000. He also spent a few years at San Diego State as an offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008 before ultimately returning to Manhattan in 2009 to rejoin the formerly-retired Snyder.

Earlier in the day, Snyder announced he had been diagnosed with throat cancer, but he plans on continuing to coach at Kansas State.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.