Monday, April 13, 2009

Bruce Snyder RIP

Former University of Oregon football player Bruce Snyder (1960, 1961 and 1962) has lost his gallant battle with cancer. He was one of coach Len Casanova's "boys". When I first arrived at the University of Oregon in 1967 he was an assistant coach to, Head Coach,Jerry Frei.(Picture above is Frei kneeling with Snyder the first coach standing to your right) I collect Oregon memorabilia and still have the game program of the October 7, 1967 game at Autzen Stadium between Oregon and Ohio State. It was the first season for Autzen and the cover has an architect's rendering of what Autzen Stadium would look like when built. Guess, they hadn't had time to take a real picture. I thought of that program a lot today after I heard the news that Bruce Snyder had died. On page 9 is a picture of Jerry Frei surrounded by pictures of his assistants. There is Max Cooley, Offensive Backfield; Jack Roche Defensive ends; Phil McHugh, Offensive Receivers; John Robinson, Defensive backs; George Seifert, Freshman Coach; Norm Chapman, Defensive Line; Ed Johns Offensive Line and Bruce Snyder, Asst. Offensive Backs. We didn't know back then how lucky we were to have such a talented group of coaches. We just didn't know. After these coaches were forced to leave, in the early 1970's, Oregon entered the "Dark Ages" of Duck Football.

Bruce Snyder's career after leaving Oregon is best summarized in this Wikipedia article:
Bruce Snyder (March 14, 1940-April 13, 2009) was the head football coach of Utah State University from 1976 to 1982. He was the head football coach of the University of California from 1987 to 1991. And from 1992 to 2000, he served as the head football coach at Arizona State University. At Arizona State he compiled a 58–47 record. Snyder was chosen as the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1996, the same season the Sun Devils played in the 1997 Rose Bowl losing to Ohio State, 20–17. His career record stands at 126–106–5. Snyder was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1990 with Cal and 1996 with ASU) and is a member of the Arizona State Hall of Fame. His 58 wins ranks second in Arizona State history and is the second-longest tenured football coach in school history. Snyder led the Sun Devils to four bowl games while at Arizona State. More than 40 players who Snyder coached at ASU were drafted into the NFL, including seven first round selections. In addition, more than 40 other players who played under Snyder at Arizona State signed rookie free contracts in the NFL. He died on April 13, 2009 of melanoma.

Click on the title above for a link to Terri Frei's Blog (Jerry's Son)where he has a nice post about Snyder's battle with cancer.

A sad day to be a Duck. Go Ducks!