COLLEGE FOOTBALL Snyder named new head coach at Marshall
The former Ohio State and YSU assistant replaces Bob Pruett, who retired.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Marshall University's football program might be headed in a new direction but a familiar face will lead it as Mark Snyder returns to the university where he set a school record for interceptions.
Snyder was hired Thursday as head football coach, receiving a five-year contract that features a base salary of $144,200 a year. With promotional work and incentives, he could earn up to $478,000 a year. He also received a $50,000 bonus from a booster group.
"We want to be the class of college football," said Snyder, a native of Ironton. "We will be the class of college football. Thank you so much for bringing me home."
Snyder was Ohio State's defensive coordinator last season and served as linebackers' coach for three years before that. He replaces Bob Pruett, who retired in March after nine seasons.
First non-winning season
Marshall went 6-6 last year and lost to Cincinnati in the Fort Worth Bowl. It was the school's first nonwinning season in 21 years.
"People tend to look at this as bad, but we are looking at this as a good situation and a chance to start all over again," Marshall lineman John Inman said. "We were 6-6 last year and we hope that we can turn it around with hard work and become successful in our new beginning."
"He seems like he's youthful and energetic," Inman said of Snyder. "He's got a little snap to him which I liked."
Snyder lettered one season -- 1987 -- at Marshall. He still holds the school record for interceptions in a season with 10.
He takes over as Marshall prepares to play in Conference USA after eight seasons in the Mid-American Conference.
Surrounded by posters of his playing days at Marshall, Snyder acknowledged the challenge of taking control of the program two days before spring practice ends on Saturday.
Snyder also was an assistant at Minnesota, Central Florida and Youngstown State, where he served under Ohio State coach Jim Tressel from 1991-96.
To replace Snyder, Tressel promoted defensive line coach Jim Heacock to defensive coordinator.
He also promoted linebackers coach Luke Fickell, a former Ohio State nose tackle, to be Heacock's co-coordinator.
Snyder was on the Buckeyes' staff when Ohio State won the 2002 national championship.
He coached against Marshall last fall when Ohio State beat the Thundering Herd 24-21 on Mike Nugent's 55-yard field goal with no time left.
Snyder also was with Youngstown State when it won the 1991 and 1993 I-AA title games against Marshall and lost to the Thundering Herd in the 1992 championship game.
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