The Bill Snyder Effect

Football analogy applied to hoops.

Hayden Fry had a great run after rebuilding Iowa. Went to eight straight bowl games starting in year three including two Rose Bowls. Had six Top 15 finishes.

Then his longtime OC Bill Snyder took over Kansas St, the worst program in major conference history. Fry’s success began to dry up at Iowa in Snyder’s absence, and eventually Fry retired. Meanwhile, Kansas State went on a huge run under Snyder.

Fast forward to Gonzaga. Mark Few had Tommie Lloyd as an assistant for 20 years and Gonzaga won big. In Lloyd’s last five seasons at Gonzaga, the team lost 14 games and secured four 1 seeds (if you count Covid projection). Lloyd was the best recruiter on staff, and responsible for much of the international recruiting.

Since Lloyd left, Gonzaga has lost 16 games and counting in three seasons. They were a 3 seed last year and projected to be an 11 seed this year. While they have four international players on roster, only a leftover Lloyd recruit contributes (Canadian Ryan Nembhard).

Meanwhile, Lloyd’s Arizona squads have earned a 1 and 2 seed so far, and are projected to be a 1 seed this year. Eight international kids play for the Wildcats.

Bottom line, assistant coaches matter sometimes. Head coaches get all the credit and blame, but sometimes you can find evidence that the head man benefited from a good staff hire. Regretfully, Cougar baseball fans have seen this first hand.


Coach did a great job building his staff. He showed loyalty to his guys and in return they’ve shown loyalty to him and the program. Agreed that the assistants are an underrated part of a team’s success.


I would think NIL is hurting Gonzaga

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Yeah, that is definitely a factor considering the change in landscape. Lloyd could be part of the reason, but I’d say the root cause to Gonzaga’s success taking a hit would be portal and NIL related.

Few may be slow to adjust like Dabo was with Clemson.