Bruce Snyder

Bruce Snyder
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1940-03-14)March 14, 1940
Santa Monica, California
Died April 13, 2009(2009-04-13) (aged 69)
Phoenix, Arizona
Playing career
1960–1963 Oregon
Position(s) Fullback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1966–1972 Oregon (assistant)
1973 Utah State (assistant)
1974–1975 USC (assistant)
1976–1982 Utah State
1983–1986 Los Angeles Rams (assistant)
1987–1991 California
1992–2000 Arizona State
2003 UNLV (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 125–106–6
Bowls 3–3
Accomplishments and honors
2 PCAA (1978–1979)
1 Pac-10 (1996)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1996)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1996)
George Munger Award (1996)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1996)
Sporting News College Football COY (1996)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1996)
2x Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1990, 1996)

Bruce Fletcher Snyder (March 14, 1940 – April 13, 2009) was an American football player and coach. After playing college football at the University of Oregon in the early 1960s as a fullback, Snyder embarked on a coaching career.

He was the head coach at Utah State University (1976–1982),[1][2] University of California, Berkeley (1987–1991), and Arizona State University (1992–2000), compiling a record of 125–106–6 (.540) at the three schools.

Snyder's 58 wins and nine-year tenure as head coach at Arizona State each rank second in school history to marks set by Frank Kush, who coached the Sun Devils from 1958 to 1979 and won 173 games. Snyder led ASU to four bowl games including a win in the 1997 Sun Bowl. More than 40 ASU players coached by Snyder were selected in the National Football League Draft, including seven in the first round, and more than 40 others signed free agent contracts in the National Football League (NFL). After his stint at Arizona State, Snyder assisted long-time friend John Robinson at UNLV for one season in 2003. He also served under Robinson as an assistant coach from 1983 to 1986 for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.

Snyder was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, in 1990 with Cal and in 1996 with Arizona State. He is a member of the Arizona State Hall of Fame. His best Sun Devil team was the 1996 unit. With Jake Plummer at quarterback, Snyder led ASU to an 11–1 record. The Sun Devils stunned the top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers in the season's second game. Arizona State reeled off the third undefeated regular season in school history en route 1997 Rose Bowl, where they came within 19 seconds of a victory over Ohio State. Had they won, the Sun Devils would have likely won at least a share of the national championship, as they would have been the only undefeated major-conference team in the nation. For his efforts that season, Snyder won a number of national coaching awards, including the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award.

Snyder was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in June 2008. He died less than a year later on April 13, 2009, at his home in Phoenix, survived by his wife Linda and three daughters.[3]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Utah State Aggies (NCAA Division I independent) (1976)
1976 Utah State 3–8
Utah State Aggies (Pacific Coast Athletic Association) (1977–1982)
1977 Utah State 4–7
1978 Utah State 7–43–1T–1st
1979 Utah State 8–2–14–0–11st
1980 Utah State 6–54–12nd
1981 Utah State 5–5–14–12nd
1982 Utah State 5–62–34th
Utah State: 38–37–2
California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference) (1987–1991)
1987 California 3–6–22–3–28th
1988 California 5–5–11–5–110th
1989 California 4–72–610th
1990 California 7–4–14–3–14thW Copper
1991 California 10–26–2T–2ndW Florida Citrus78
California: 29–24–415–19–4
Arizona State Sun Devils (Pacific-10 Conference) (1992–2000)
1992 Arizona State 6–54–4T–6th
1993 Arizona State 6–54–4T–5th
1994 Arizona State 3–82–6T–8th
1995 Arizona State 6–54–4T–5th
1996 Arizona State 11–18–01stL Rose44
1997 Arizona State 9–36–23rdW Sun1414
1998 Arizona State 5–64–4T–5th
1999 Arizona State 6–65–34thL Aloha
2000 Arizona State 6–63–5T–5thL Aloha
Arizona State: 58–4540–32
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Coaching tree

Assistant coaches under Bruce Snyder who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:


  1. "Snyder new football coach at Utah State". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 16, 1975. p. 5B.
  2. Ferguson, George (December 16, 1975). "Bruce Snyder is 15th grid coach at USU". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C1.
  3. Former Cal Coach Snyder dies of cancer Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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