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Bruce Snyder, 1940 – 2009

Bruce Snyder, 1940 – 2009

avatarthumbnail.jpgEverything you need to know about Bruce Snyder’s tenure at Arizona State was encapsulated in 10 minutes during halftime of one of the Sun Devils’ games last season.

Snyder, who coached the Sun Devils from 1992 to 2000 and took Arizona State to within 90 seconds of the national championship following the 1996 season, was introduced to the crowd and received a rousing ovation.

John Cooper, who coached the Sun Devils to the school’s first Rose Bowl (beating Michigan) before taking the money and running after three years to go to Ohio State (where he almost never beat Michigan), was roundly booed.

snyder.jpgBruce is to the right in this photograph taken before the 1997 Rose Bowl; the money-grubber is on the left.

Forget the more than 40 Sun Devils who went on to professional careers after playing for Snyder. Forget the Rose Bowl trip. Forget the 58 wins, second-most in school history behind Frank Kush. And even forget the 4-5 record against Arizona (including wins in three of his last five games.)

Bruce was good people. I was a young reporter covering the team when he was hired and what struck me then and now is at his introductory press conference, he made sure to ask the names of the reporters asking him the questions. Sure, it’s good public relations. It’s also who he was.

God speed, Bruce.

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