Hometown shows its appreciation to Snyder

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2001

Everywhere Mark Snyder goes, he talks about Ironton.

Sunday, July 29, 2001

Everywhere Mark Snyder goes, he talks about Ironton. Friday night Snyder came back to Ironton, and all Ironton did was talk about him.

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Snyder, who was recently hired as the linebackers coach at Ohio State, was the honoree at the second annual Ironton Appreciation Day dinner held at Tanks Memorial Stadium before a crowd of more than 300 people.

Even on this night, when Snyder’s turn came to speak, he spoke again of Ironton, the people, and the football program.

"This is my home. I’m so happy to be back home with my family," Snyder said. "I don’t what I’ve done to be honor me like this, but I’m very proud to be in front of this crowd. I want to thank the people of Ironton for making me feel like part of the family.

"(Ohio State head coach Jim ) Tressel talks consistently about family being the core of society, and you guys have brought me and my family when I came to Ironton and made us feel part of that and that’s what makes me feel so special. What I learned at Ironton I still use today as coach."

Snyder went on to thank a number of people who have helped him along his career path, including teammate Pierre Tismo and his family for helping him while he played at Ironton.

He also thanked coaches and family members, especially his wife, Beth, and their three daughters, Chelsea, 8, Lindsay,7, and Shaylee,

But everyone came to show Snyder their appreciation, and Ironton head coach Bob Lutz started the run of accolades about local boy making good.

"Mark is one of the better ones who have come through here. Mark has excelled at whatever level he’s played at or coached at," Lutz said.

"The big thing about him is that he was a gamer. He was a player’s player in that he gave all he had all the time. It didn’t make any difference what type of drill you were in, whether you were in the middle of summer workouts or in the middle of preparation for the state championship."

Ironton athletic director and assistant head coach Mike Burcham said that Snyder is not only a great player and coach, but he admires him as an individual as well.

"Mark has always carried himself with a lot of class. He was a competitor as a player and he’s a competitor as a coach. But Mark is also one of a really good people who have come through our program. We wish him and his family even more success and we’re proud of him and congratulate him," Burcham said.

Ken Canatser, Ohio State assistant coach, said he made contact with Snyder in high school and has made a point to keep in touch. The friendship has brought the two together twice as coaches, once at Youngstown State and now at Ohio State.

"I was at that championship game (in 1982) and I wanted Mark Snyder to come to Syracuse as a quarterback. From that point on, wherever Mark was at, we kept in touch.

"I look back at July 1 (of 1991) when we were at Youngstown and we had a coach leave and Coach (Jim) Tressel said we need a linebacker coach. I said I know the guy. He’ll be here. He’s getting married on Saturday, but he’ll be here on Monday. And we called him and he was on his way to Youngstown," said Canatser

Snyder said Canatser has been like a second father to him.

"I would not be here today if not for Ken Canatser. I would not be in the second phase of my like if not for Ken Canatser," Snyder said.

Snyder was an All-Ohio quarterback and safety for the Fighting Tigers and helped guide the team to a 22-1 record and a state runner-up during his two seasons as a starter.

He later played at Marshall University where he was first team All-Southern Conference and honorable mention Division I-AA All-American honors. He set a school record with 10 interceptions in one season.

Snyder was a graduate assistant at Marshall and later at Central Florida. He joined Youngstown State’s staff and helped coach the team to four I-AA title games, three for championships. He spent the past four seasons as the defensive ends coach for Minnesota, coaching two All-Americans and a defense that averaged 40.7 sacks a season.