Team preview: Kansas State

Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 119 Division I-A teams. To order the complete 2006 edition of Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(All information as of July 1, 2006)


After 17 years and 136 victories, Bill Snyder is gone, having retired at the end of last season as the winningest coach in Kansas State history.

Now it's Ron Prince's turn to take Manhattan.

And everything has changed.

Prince, beginning his first stint as a head coach at any level, is bent on taking the K-State program by storm. He is a high-energy, high-profile sort who has said "the only stamp I want to put on this program is winning and making coach Snyder proud,'' but has put his very distinctive mark on the Wildcats from the moment he was hired on Dec. 5.

Prince is the face and the voice of K-State football. His assistants are not permitted to speak to the media, but Prince has been everywhere, pushing his team to local and national audiences as often as possible. A week after taking the job, he was on ESPN's Cold Pizza, and soon after he made a tour of the state to begin making connections with area fans. He even opened many of the Wildcats' spring workouts to the public, something Snyder was loath to do.

"I've been preparing for this opportunity my whole life,'' said Prince, who grew up a Wildcats fan in nearby Junction City, Kansas, and attended his share of games as a youth.

Of course, that wasn't all that long ago. At 36, Prince is Division I-A's second-youngest head coach, earning his shot after five seasons as a Virginia assistant, the last three as offensive coordinator.