MEMPHIS, Tenn. (K-State Athletics) – Kansas State Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Sean Snyder was selected as the 2015 FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass, the organization announced Tuesday.
Snyder, who has coached each of the last three Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year award winners in Tyler Lockett (2013-14) and Morgan Burns (2015), has turned K-State’s special teams units into some of the best in the nation which were a major factor in helping the Wildcats secure their sixth-straight bowl berth.
K-State currently ranks in the top 15 in five special teams categories, including a No. 6 ranking in kickoff returns (27.48 yards per return) and a No. 10 ranking in kickoff-return defense (17.72 yards per return). Additionally, the Wildcats have not allowed a kickoff- or punt-return touchdown in 2015.
In addition to Burns being named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year, he was also a First Team All-American returner by multiple outlets, while place kickers Jack Cantele (first team) and Matthew McCrane (honorable mention) along with punter Nick Walsh (honorable mention) each picked up All-Big 12 honors. The accolades by Cantele and McCrane marked just the second time in Big 12 history a school had two kickers earn all-conference honors in the same season as the duo combined to make 16-of-18 field goals and all 42 extra-point attempts during the regular season.
Thanks in part to Snyder’s tutelage, K-State leads the nation with 101 non-offensive touchdowns since 1999 and has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a national best 11-consecutive seasons. K-State also has a combined 40 kickoff- or punt-return touchdowns since 2005, the most by any Power 5 school over that span and 12 more than the team in second place.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The other finalists were Jay Boulware (Oklahoma), Ed Foley (Temple) and Kelly Poppinga (BYU). The prior award winners selected this year’s winner.
Snyder will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Kansas State takes on Arkansas in the 2016 Liberty Bowl this Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. It is the 19th bowl game in school history and the 17th under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Snyder.