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Mark Snyder resigns

Mark Snyder
Nov. 30, 2009 @ 12:22 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A lone lopsided loss didn't result in Marshall University football's head coaching change Sunday. Instead, numerous factors figured into Mark Snyder's resignation.

Snyder, a 44-year-old former Thundering Herd player and graduate assistant coach, had a 22-37 overall record in five consecutive non-winning seasons. His teams were 17-23 in Conference USA games.

Marshall ended its regular season with a defeat Saturday at UTEP (52-21) at 6-6 overall and 4-4 in C-USA.

With six victories, Marshall is conditionally eligible to receive a bowl game bid. Defensive coordinator Rick Minter will serve as the interim head coach if the Thundering Herd goes to a bowl, athletic director Mike Hamrick said.

"Mark and I met and had a long meeting," Hamrick said. "He thought it was in his best interests to resign."

Hamrick and Snyder had another meeting with Marshall players Sunday afternoon.

A search for a new head coach begins immediately. To protect the integrity of the search, Hamrick said he will not comment on any aspect of it during the process.

Saturday evening, minutes following the UTEP game, Snyder spoke of returning to work Sunday. Less than 24 hours later, Snyder resigned.

"I met with Mike Hamrick extensively today, and we discussed our football program," Snyder said in a Marshall news release. "I feel that it was in the best interest of our program for me to announce my intent to resign my position. It has been an honor to be the coach here, and I will always be appreciative of the opportunity my university gave me.

"I want to thank all of the fans for their support and all of my players and assistant coaches for their hard work and dedication. I wish the program nothing but the best."

Snyder had three seasons remaining on a contract that was extended in 2006 through June 2013 at a base annual salary of $144,200.

Hamrick said all contractual agreements with Snyder will be honored.

Qualified, potential replacements are out there, and Hamrick said he knows who they are.

"As an A.D., you always have lists," he said. "If you're successful, you lose your coach. If you're not successful, you lose your coach."

Marshall hired Snyder in 2005. His predecessor, Bobby Pruett, retired on the eve of spring practice, and the 1988 Marshall graduate earned his dream job just days prior to the annual Green-White spring game.

His staff inherited three seasons of scholarship reductions because of NCAA violations and gradually rebuilt the program's recruiting base. He also resumed summer youth camps and junior varsity games. The players largely enjoyed academic success, but none of that translated to the bottom line.

Marshall twice established single-game home attendance records during Snyder's tenure, but Joan C. Edwards Stadium crowds dipped during the 2009 season. The Nov. 14 matchup against Southern Miss drew 21,036 spectators in the 38,000-capacity stadium. One week later, just 19,646 turned out for a 34-31 home win over SMU. The season low in attendance was 18,878, set October 24 in the Herd's win over UAB.

Snyder, originally from South Point, Ohio, was a standout player at Ironton High School.

He came home to Marshall after four years as an Ohio State assistant coach on Jim Tressel's staff and was coming off his first season as the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator.

His previous stops were on the coaching staffs at Minnesota, Youngstown State and UCF.

Reporter Grant Traylor contributed to this report.

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