While we celebrate the kickoff of the 2010-2011 season, we shall not forget what coaches and football players in the past have done for Kansas State University. History, to some fans, started when Bill Snyder was hired in 1988. To me, that’s a dissatification to the men who played or coached for Kansas State since the early 1890’s. What people don’t know is that from 1896 to 1934, Kansas State football record was 162-117-23.
During the early years, Kansas State was a “respectable” football team that wasn’t to be taken lightly, and they have fielded solid to great teams. Kansas State had great players, along the likes of George Croyle, Harvey Roots, Jack Holmes, Ray Hahn, Dewey Huston, and many more of them. Kansas State had great coaches along the likes of Mike Ahearn, Guy Lowman, Z.G. Clevenger, Charles Bachman, A.N McMillian, and Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf.
Sadly, after Waldorf left Kansas State in 1936, it marked the end of Kansas State’s football glory. From 1940 to 1989, in 50 seasons, Kansas State’s record was 119-372-12, and only produced 3 winning seasons in that span. It was heartbreaking to see that Kansas State had nothing. Nobody of believers, no money to have good facilities, but the worst part of it all was, the nation was laughing at them. Pride in the program, vanished.
It was also heartbreaking to see that so many young fine players who played up to the best of their abilities, as well as the coaching staff who coached up to the best of their abilities as well. Lost in all of this losing was the fact that players and to a degree, coaches received little or no credit for even trying. They all could, and understandably so, quit when they were experiencing 365 bad days. But they hung in there, no matter how bad things got.
Those players and coaches never experienced winning a bowl game. Those players and coaches never experienced winning a conference championship. Losing football games had grown into a way in life in Kansas State. Worst of all, the feeling of success by Kansas State in the 1990’s to 2000’s was how quickly they were forgotten. How soon we forget. How soon we wanted to forget.
Those men offered nothing but blood, toil, sweat, and tears and they gave all their might and will with all the strength that they gave to Kansas State. To the men who played for Kansas State during the dark years, you are not forgotten in this fan’s heart. You men helped made this place what it is today, and this article is proof of how special Kansas State is right now. Your contributions will mean more than you will ever know.