The Bill Snyder Pavilion on the west end of Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium on the campus of Missouri Western State University will be dedicated at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12. Snyder was born and raised in St. Joseph and attended Missouri Western when it was St. Joseph Junior College in 1959. The dedication ceremony, followed by a brief reception on the pavilion, is free and open to the public.
The pavilion features two different levels for hosting outdoor events, barbecue areas and an 80-foot flagpole displaying a 20-foot by 30-foot American flag. The pavilion will also feature a bronze plaque of Coach Snyder as well as a dedication to those who have served in our military.
The dedication ceremony will include the raising of the American flag, comments from Missouri Western officials as well as Craig, Snyder, and St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray, a video tribute to Snyder’s career, a ribbon cutting and plaque unveilings.
The pavilion was built and donated by Steven L. Craig, the benefactor for whom Craig Field and the Craig School of Business at Missouri Western are named.
In 1989, Snyder took over a struggling Kansas State program that had just become the first Division I program to lose 500 games and had gone winless in two consecutive seasons. In a short time, he turned the Wildcats into a national championship contender that advanced to 11 straight bowl appearances and tallied six 11-win seasons over a seven-year stretch. He retired in 2005, but returned to the Kansas State sidelines in 2009, adding his seventh 11-win season and second conference championship in 2012. Overall, his record stands at 210-110-1 as he prepares for his 27th season at the helm.
Snyder was born and raised in St. Joseph, the son of Marionetta Snyder and grandson of George and Marie Owens. He graduated from Lafayette High School in 1958.
Snyder is a member of eight Halls of Fame: the College Football Hall of Fame, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, William Jewell Hall of Fame, Lafayette High School Hall of Fame, Austin College Athletic Hall of Fame, Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame and Kansas State Hall of Fame. He received Missouri Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014.
Locally, Snyder has returned to St. Joseph many times for fundraisers and events supporting education and the YMCA, most recently delivering the keynote address at the inaugural News-Press Now Prep Sports Honors ceremony, where the Bill Snyder Awards were presented to the male and female athletes of the year.
After attending St. Joseph Junior College, Snyder received his B.A. from William Jewell in 1963. He earned his M.A. from Eastern New Mexico in 1965. Snyder and his wife, Sharon, have two sons and three daughters. They also have eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.