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Monday, July 9, 2012
Programs without winningest coaches

By David Ubben

We're looking at coaches this week on ESPN.com. It's a big subject, sure. In our blog network, we'll be breaking it down each day to smaller topics.

Today, a simple question: What would a program look like without the winningest coach in program history? Which coaches had the biggest impact?

Here's how it breaks down for each program in the Big 12 (all-time record in parentheses):

Bill Snyder
Kansas State's winning percentage plummets without Bill Snyder.
BAYLOR: 524-530-44 (.497)
IOWA STATE: 500-594-24 (.458)
KANSAS: 572-560-58 (.505)
KANSAS STATE: 475-612-41 (.439)
OKLAHOMA: 821-307-44 (.718)
OKLAHOMA STATE: 530-523-47 (.503)
TEXAS: 858-330-33 (.716)
TCU: 593-514-57 (.534)
TEXAS TECH: 524-405-32 (.562)
WEST VIRGINIA: 701-457-45 (.601)

That's a wide variance of wins. It's clear that no man means more to his school than Bill Snyder does to Kansas State. The program has a rather depressing .358 winning percentage if you remove Snyder's win from the equation. He took two seasons to get Kansas State from a perennial doormat to a team above .500. Snyder then went on a historic run that included a Big 12 title in 2003 and two BCS bowl bids.

Don't ever doubt why some consider what Snyder has done in Manhattan as the single greatest coaching job in the history of the game. Snyder's career win percentage at Kansas State is .656, almost double what the program's overall win percentage is. No other coach comes close to those numbers. There's a reason why many of the nation's coaches are often in awe of Snyder and why he is so respected.

The biggest surprise for me was the relative dominance of West Virginia compared to the rest of the Big 12. That .601 win percentage is behind only Texas and Oklahoma over the course of the program's history. And you wonder why folks are so excited about their entrance into the league?

Looking elsewhere, Texas Tech's decision to fire Mike Leach looks worse and worse while the Mike Gundy hire at Oklahoma State looks better and better. Gundy is three wins from passing Pat Jones as the school's biggest all-time winner. He did so in just 89 games while Jones needed 125 matches to reach 62 victories.

Conversely, how about the job Gary Patterson has done at TCU? Sure, the schedule is different, but he's suffered the same amount of losses as Gundy with 50 more wins. He's also reached 109 wins in 62 fewer games than Dutch Meyer.

We're living in the age of some great, great coaches in this league. History shows us that.