NCF Nation: Todd Heap
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Bruce Snyder wasn't Arizona State's greatest coach. That would be Frank Kush. But Snyder ranks a solid No. 2, and he also was something few coaches are: well-rounded.
Snyder loved to read. He could talk incisively about things other than football. And, get this: He was a nice guy.
|AP Photo/Roy Dabner|
|Bruce Snyder went 126-106-5 in 20 years as a head coach.|
Not long ago, he was also doing something few football coaches do: Enjoy retirement.
Then, in June, his doctor gave him stunning news: He had Stage IV melanoma. The story is gracefully told in this column by George Schroeder.
The situation was dire. Realistically, it was a death sentence. But, of course, Snyder fought like crazy. And he shared his journey with the world on his blog.
But that final journey ended Monday. Snyder was 69. He leaves behind a wife, three daughters, a son-in-law, two grandchildren, four sisters, two brothers and his beloved dog, Ella.
And an impressive legacy.
His being well-rounded and good-natured, of course, isn't why Pac-10 fans will remember Snyder today. He was a heck of a football coach, winning Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors at two different schools and nearly leading Arizona State to a national championship in 1996.
He compiled a 58-47-0 record in nine seasons at Arizona State, the win total ranking second behind Kush.
What Arizona State fans will remember most fondly was a scintillating 1996 season, when Jake Plummer, Pat Tillman and the Sun Devils were in the national title hunt until the waning moments of the Rose Bowl, when Ohio State and quarterback Joe Germaine broke their hearts in a 20-17 defeat.