December 30, 1964 |
South Point, Ohio
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Youngstown State (OLB/ST/LB/DC/DB)
Ohio State (LB/DC)
South Florida (DC/LB)
Texas A&M (DC)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
Mark Snyder (born December 30, 1964) is an American football coach. He most recently served as the defensive coordinator of the Texas A&M Aggies. He is the former head coach of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team in Huntington, West Virginia. Snyder was the 28th head coach for the football squad after a four-year tenure as a defensive coordinator with Ohio State University.
The South Point, Ohio, native is a 1988 graduate of Marshall. Snyder played in 1987 for the football squad, leading the Southern Conference with 10 interceptions and was second on the team with 124 tackles his senior year at Marshall and helped lead the Herd to a landmark come from behind win at Louisville and a berth in Marshall's first-ever national championship game. He captured honorable mention All-America honors and first-team All-Southern Conference honors that season as the Thundering Herd posted a 10-5 overall record and finished as national runners-up to Northeast Louisiana (43-42) in the 1987 Division 1-AA National Championship game. Snyder's 10 interceptions in 1987 still stands as the Marshall and Southern Conference single-season record.
After graduating from Marshall, the following fall he began his coaching career as a student assistant coach for the Herd. He moved on to the UCF Knights the following year and spent two seasons there, the first as a graduate assistant and the second coaching linebackers.
In 1991, Snyder joined Jim Tressel at Youngstown State University as the outside linebacker coach. Snyder was given special teams and inside linebacker responsibilities in 1994, and then promoted to defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 1996. During his tenure at Youngstown State, the Penguins won three NCAA Division 1-AA national championships and played in four consecutive national championship games, facing Marshall in three of those contests (1991, 1992, and 1993).
Following the 1996 season, Snyder went on to spend four years as the defensive ends coach under Glen Mason at Minnesota. While coaching the Golden Gophers, Minnesota's defense twice set school records for single-season sacks and averaged 40.7 sacks during a three-year span. While at Minnesota, Snyder's best players were Lamanzer Williams, who led the nation in sacks in 1997, and Karon Riley, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2000.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Snyder again reunited with Jim Tressel at Ohio State University and was coming off of his first season as the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator. In Snyder's four years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes posted a 40-11 overall record and tallied a 3-1 record in bowl games, including victories in the 2003 and 2004 Tostitos Fiesta Bowls. Snyder helped develop a number of outstanding players at Ohio State, including All-Americans Matt Wilhelm, Cie Grant, and A.J. Hawk. Both Wilhelm and Grant played key roles in Ohio State's 2002 national championship before going on to become NFL draft picks. Hawk led OSU with 141 tackles en route to becoming the No. 5 overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Return to Marshall
Marshall University's football program welcomed home one of its own when Mark Snyder was introduced as Marshall's 28th head football coach on April 14, 2005. "I am pleased that Mark decided to return to his alma mater and lead our football program into a new era," Marshall Director of Athletics Bob Marcum said at Snyder's hiring. "He brings a great deal of experience, enthusiasm, and a proven record of success at the highest levels of college football to Marshall."
Snyder's first season, the 2005 campaign, had plenty of highlights as well. It marked the emergence of sophomore running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who finished the season with 997 yards rushing (tops among underclassmen in Conference USA) en route to earning second-team All-C-USA honors. Thanks to the Herd's membership in Conference USA and the league's multi-year agreements with ESPN and CSTV, Marshall gained a record amount of exposure by appearing on national television a record eight times in 2005. In addition, the Thundering Herd set a school single-game attendance record with a crowd of 36,914 for the Kansas State contest on September 10 and in the spring of 2006 set a Green & White Game record with 17,346 fans. The former Marshall standout led one of the youngest Thundering Herd teams on record, one that lost 25 seniors from the previous year and had only six returning starters, to a 4-7 overall and 3-5 conference mark in his first season - Marshall's first in the highly competitive Conference USA. Marshall had only three returning starters on offense and had to replace its entire defensive front seven in 2005. Adding to the challenge was the fact that Snyder did not take over the program until the end of spring practice. The first year head coach participated in only one spring practice and did not have an opportunity to install his system or get to know his personnel until August. Despite this, the Thundering Herd managed to be competitive in nearly every contest. In fact, the Thundering Herd was only a couple of breaks away from a seven win season and a bowl berth with three of the squad's losses coming by a mere five points or less.
In Snyder's second season, he saw Bradshaw return at running back and receivers Marcus Fitzgerald (brother of Pittsburgh standout Larry Fitzgerald) and Hiram Moore breakout. Snyder's second season saw a bit more production, after a loss to West Virginia in the annual rivalry game to start the season. The Herd posted a 5-7 record and a 4-4 conference record. The Herd were 4-1 at home and 1-6 away. The marquee victory of the season was over UTEP, who were led by Jordan Palmer at quarterback. Bradshaw rushed for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns in the conference victory. At the conclusion of Snyder's second season as coach, his team became the inaugural recipient of The Fulmer Cup.
To begin Snyder's third season as Marshall head coach, the Herd started the season 0-7, which included a home loss to New Hampshire, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school. However, the Herd won their final three home games of the season, including a 26-7 victory over then division-leading East Carolina. The Herd finished the 2007 season with a 3-9 season record. One of the few highlights of the season was sophomore tight end Cody Slate earning All-American honors.
In 2009, Snyder came under fire for his losing records in the previous years. Despite returning an experienced team, Snyder struggled early on in the season. In an early game against Bowling Green University, in which the Thundering Herd were losing to their former MAC rivals, the student section turned on Snyder by rhythmically chanting "Fire Snyder." Pressure continued to mount against him when the Herd blew a 13-point lead in the 4th Quarter of their annual contest against the University of Central Florida. With a win over Southern Methodist, Marshall became bowl eligible for the first time since 2004, and for the first time since Snyder became head coach in 2005.
Resignation from Marshall
On November 28, 2009, the Herd suffered a 52–21 loss to UTEP at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, thus finishing the season 6–6. On November 29, 2009, it was announced that Snyder had resigned as head football coach, effective immediately. The Herd received a bowl bid to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, Michigan. On December 26, 2009, interim coach Rick Minter led them to a 21–17 victory over the Ohio University Bobcats in Marshall's first bowl game since 2004.
On January 18, 2010, Snyder was named the defensive coordinator at South Florida.
On January 10, 2012, Snyder was hired by first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin as the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. During the 2012 season, the Aggie defense ranked 26th nationally in scoring and 16th nationally in third-down conversion rate. During the 2013 season, the young Aggie defense finished last in the SEC in multiple categories. In the 2014 season, the Aggie defense ranked last in the SEC against SEC opponents, giving up 512.1 yards and 38.6 points per game. After the disappointing seasons by the Aggies defense, Snyder was fired on November 28, 2014 after their season-ending loss to LSU and was replaced by linebacker coach Mark Hagen as the interim defensive coordinator.
Head coaching record
|Marshall Thundering Herd (Conference USA) (2005–2009)|
|2009||Marshall||6–6||4–4||4th (East)||Little Caesars*|
|Marshall:||22–37||17–23||*Resigned from Marshall before the Pizza Bowl|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
- "Snyder Resigns as Head Coach". WSAZ. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
- Bruce Feldman (January 18, 2010). "Former Marshall coach to South Florida". Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- "Former MU football coach Mark Snyder hired at Texas A&M". Herald-Dispatch.com. January 10, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Mark Snyder fired as Texas A&M defensive coordinator