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Credit where credit is due



Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:02

Anyone who has heard me talk about Marshall football knows I am not a fan of former Head Coach Mark Snyder.

Presently the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, Snyder coached at Marshall from 2005-2009 after being a star linebacker for the Herd in the late ‘80s. It is fair to say that Snyder worsened the state of Marshall football during his time as coach.

But as I watched the Super Bowl, I had to give Snyder some credit for the defensive talent he brought to the Thundering Herd. Three former Herd defensive standouts were on the sidelines. Ravens linebacker, Albert McClellan, won C-USA Defensive player of the year in 2006 and Ravens safety, Omar Brown, amassed 288 career tackles in kelly green and white. 49ers safety, C.J. Spillman, a two-time all-C-USA selection, stood on the other side of the field.

Snyder, who has also been a defensive coach at Ohio State and South Florida, never put a flashy defense on the field for the Herd. His defensive squads at worst were 83rd in total defense and at best 60th.

Star power was present for the Herd defense during the Snyder years though.

His recruits included Delvin Johnson, Mario Harvey, Johnny Jones and the recently drafted Vinny Curry.

Snyder had a few good offensive players — most notably two-time national champion Ahmad Bradshaw.

Unfortunately, Snyder was unable to channel star power into victories, and amassed a 22-37 record with the Thundering Herd. Snyder was fired at the end of the 2009 season even though he finally got the team to a bowl game. His time was marked by head-scratching decisions such as snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Kansas State in 2005 — I am still mad about that one — and for marking the fall of Marshall football from the national stage.

However, credit must be given where credit is due, and Snyder did do a good job putting talent on the defensive side of the ball at Marshall.  
Will Vance can be contacted at


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