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100 Day Sun Devil Football Countdown to Kickoff, #23: Bruce Snyder

Bruce Snyder (Photo: ASU)
Bruce Snyder (Photo: ASU)

Arizona State football may always be seen as Frank Kush's' program, but the success that Bruce Snyder had ranks second best in school history.

Snyder's tenure at ASU was from 1992-2000, collecting 58 wins and four bowl berths. The highlight came in 1996, earning Pac-10 Coach of the Year while leading the Devils to an 11-1 record and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

To start the '96 campaign, Snyder helped orchestrate one of college footballs most stunning upsets. In Week Three ASU defeated the top ranked, two-time reigning national champion, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The winning trend continued on, resulting in the third undefeated regular season in school history. With an 11-0 record ASU won the Pac -10 crown, securing a spot in the Rose Bowl versus Ohio State.

With Jake Plummer at the helm, Snyder's Devils were in prime position to outduel the Ohio State. ASU came within 19 seconds of a Rose Bowl victory, but unfortunately David Boston had other plans, scoring an untouched touchdown.

If the Devils would have won the game, many speculate it could have been enough to make them at least co-national champions. Despite the disappointing end of the season, it was a historic year that helped Snyder notch the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award.

During his nine-year tenure as the face of ASU football, more than 40 players were drafted in the NFL, with an additional 40 plus signing free agent contracts.

Sadly, Snyder is no longer with us today, having passed away in April 2009 after battling Stage IV melanoma. Snyder's ability to win here in the desert brought upon extremely high expectations for many generations to come.

See the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day countdown here

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