A New Prince is Anointed

MANHATTAN- Serendipitous Prince Weeks ago, when the search for the next head football coach at Kansas State University began, Ron Prince was "not on the radar screen," according to University President Jon Wefald. Athletic director Tim Weiser said he was on their list of candidates, but along with many other names. What happened that moved Prince up so high so quickly?

Wefald said speaking with Prince and experiencing his charisma first-hand simply led to serendipity. When serendipity takes place, "you end up hiring someone who is not on your radar screen," Wefald said. "That's what America is all about."

He wasn't at the top of the potential head coach candidate lists from many, or even on some fans' lists, but Ron Prince is the man next in line to coach the Kansas State Wildcats. Athletic director Tim Weiser, Wefald, and former coach Bill Snyder all preceded the "young, up and coming" Prince in taking the podium, and all spoke of intrinsic values the former Virginia offensive coordinator possesses.

"What I've seen is a man of humility," Snyder said. "A man that has a mission. I've seen a man that is caring. I've seen someone who genuinely believes in the good in young people. I have seen somebody who has a plan. I have seen a gentleman that truly understands the values that this program has embodied for the past 17 years."

Many fans stressed ties to the K-State family when the search for a new coach began, leading to some criticism of the rumored Prince hiring because he never coached under Snyder. Though he may lack connections to Snyder, he does have ties to K-State. Prince addressed memories of attending K-State games as a youth, and watching players like Gary Spani. When asked how long he had thought of becoming head coach at the school so close to his former home, Junction City, Prince said he'd been thinking about it since he was three or four years old.

Prince stood tall in front of the bevy of reporters, clad in a black suit and striped-purple tie. He spoke on the issue of race, and the importance of being the fourth African-American head coach in Division-I college football today, but added that he hoped the only color that would matter in years down the road is purple.

Though he holds Snyder's former position, both Prince and Weiser stressed that he is not expected to replace the Manhattan legend. "That's not possible," Weiser said.

"We wanted to find somebody that could be a good role model like coach Snyder has been," Weiser said.

"(Someone) that will continue on with the tradition, and the values, and the character that Kansas State football is all about. We also wanted to find somebody that is committed to the same excellence that Coach Snyder is."

Prince even stressed the desire to accept any input Snyder is willing to provide. "I'm very hopeful that Coach Snyder and I can dialogue continuously," Prince said. "I can't imagine a better MBA school or doctoral program for someone."

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