Cotton Bowl Countdown: Bill Snyder praises K-State’s assistant coaches

What a difference a year makes.

At this time last season, Kansas State football fans were upset with several of Bill Snyder’s assistant coaches and took to the Internet to discuss who should be replaced.

Turned out Keith Burns, the Wildcats’ secondary coach, and Ricky Rahne, the team’s quarterback coach, were the only assistants to leave. Burns took a similar job with Mississippi, and Tom Hayes was brought in from Tulane to replace him. Del Miller slid over to coach quarterbacks, and Sean Snyder moved up to coach special teams.

Some viewed that limited turnover as a bad sign for this season, but things worked out well for K-State.

The Wildcats improved significantly on defense, became more dependable on offense and produced several highlight plays on special teams.

Miller has done a great job with Collin Klein, Chris Cosh has turned around K-State’s defense and Snyder has helped improve K-State in the kicking game.

Here is what Snyder had to say about the job of his assistant coaches earlier this week:

“I think they have done a wonderful job,” Snyder said. “That should be pretty obvious. They have done a nice job of bringing players along. From top to bottom, you see guys that have made very consistent improvement throughout the course of the season.

“They have gotten fundamentally better and that does not happen if our coaches are not doing a good job of working and teaching. They have been able to put schemes together that have done some very positive things. They have managed their youngsters well, on and off the field.

“We have had a lot of young guys that have received national and Big 12 recognition that probably were not projected at all and that lies in the capacity of their coaches to improve their play.

“There are quite a few offensive and defensive players of the week, there were four special teams players of the week. We had a number on all-conference teams and a couple guys that were on All-American teams and that comes because their coaches have helped them a great deal.”

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 6, the Kansas State football team will face Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. With that in mind, I began counting down to the big game in Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 6 by attempting to write 31 blog posts in 31 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas at the moment. I’m confident that I can go 31 for 31, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at