Snyder's resignation shocks players
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall football players made their way to the Shewey Building for Sunday meetings as they usually do during the season.
But, Sunday's meeting was much different than any other.
Instead of watching game film and preparing for an opponent, players were met by head coach Mark Snyder and athletic director Mike Hamrick, who brought the team in to announce Snyder's resignation.
"This is a shock to me really. We got a text message about a team meeting at 3 p.m. so we came. ... " wide receiver Aaron Dobson said. "I was just like 'Wow.' I was kind of shocked and everybody is down now. It's going to be a big change for us."
Snyder's resignation ends a five-year span at the helm of the Thundering Herd that culminated with a 22-37 record.
On Sunday, players voiced that Snyder's contributions to the program and their individual lives go well beyond the action on the field.
"When I got here, it wasn't close to what it is now," quarterback Brian Anderson said. "We've taken a lot of steps in the right direction -- not only on the field, but off it as well with team issues."
Tight end Lee Smith echoed his quarterback's sentiments, saying Snyder has been a key figure in his life since his transfer from the University of Tennessee.
"He's made all of us the men we are. I know if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be the man I am today," Smith said. "It was hurtful, but we respected him for the way he handled it. He handled it with class."
Smith said he had heard rumors escalate during the year about Snyder's possible departure, but said not all of the issues with the team fell on the head coach's shoulders.
"It would be crazy to say that some of us didn't see this coming," Smith said. "Obviously there has been talk and we definitely didn't do as well as we should have this year.
"We're far too talented to be 6-6. Some of it is on us. At the end of the day, we're the ones between the white lines and we needed to take care of business."
Even in the somber meeting, the day's circumstances offered Snyder one last opportunity to teach his team a valuable lesson -- something that Smith said was the norm.
"It's just like Coach Snyder told all of us -- that's life. If you don't produce in life, regardless of what profession you are in, this is what happens," Smith said. "Coach Snyder has prepared us for life in every aspect. He's a great coach, great person and all of us look up to him. We are sad to see him go."
Hamrick said defensive coordinator Rick Minter will act as the interim head coach should Marshall be invited to a bowl game.
Bowl arrangements for the Herd have not yet been announced, and Hamrick said it will likely not be known until after next weekend's games -- specifically the Army-Navy game and the Conference USA championship.