It’s been a full year now since Gene Taylor was hired away from North Dakota State to be Kansas State’s athletic director and predictably he sat down with local reporters to do a bit of a recap/look ahead at his tenure so far in the Little Apple. Just as predictably, he was asked about his biggest task in the coming years — the when (and most importantly who) will replace legendary head coach Bill Snyder as football coach.
“I feel pretty confident,” Taylor told the Wichita Eagle, “that what has been built by Coach, what has been built by facilities and what has been built by tradition, that the pool of candidates will be strong enough that I’m not worried I am going to have to go dig in the bushes to find really good candidates.”
“They are going to be lined up. It’s just a matter of making sure we find the right one that fits here.”
Taylor added that he has urged Snyder, now 78, to remain in his current job for as long as he is physically able to. The Hall of Fame coach has said he will return to coach in 2018 but it is a decision he seems to make on a yearly basis in December or January, especially in light of being diagnosed with throat cancer.
As far as who will wind up taking over, that’s a line Taylor’s non-remark remark threaded carefully. Snyder has long wanted his son and longtime assistant Sean Snyder to take the position but others from Jim Leavitt to Brent Venables to Bret Bielema have been mentioned as possible successors as well. It certainly sounds as though the Wildcats’ AD has a solid list to choose from when the day eventually comes but Taylor and others are no doubt hoping that time doesn’t come anytime soon.