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Snyder begins speaking tour with FCA, Big Green

Special To The Tribune

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University football coach Mark Snyder will be the featured speaker at the Huntington Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes "Take the Challenge" home team rally dinner June 16 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The event, sponsored by Barboursville Physical Therapy, takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets cost $25 each. Proceeds will benefit the Huntington Area FCA.

Snyder, named head coach of the Thundering Herd on April 14, said he views his position as one that is more than a football coach, especially since he is from the Tri-State. Snyder starred as a player at Ironton High School and at Marshall.

"I've had a lot of community involvement everywhere I've been," said Snyder, who has coached at Central Florida, Youngstown State, Minnesota and Ohio State prior to Marshall.

"I often thought how great that would be to be able to do that at home where I know the people. That would make it that much more special. I care about this area. I'll be involved. Our staff and I will do it. This is a high-profile position. I understand that. We'll do things right."

Snyder said he will be community oriented, tempering it with the understanding that he can't accommodate everyone all the time.

"That's one of the things I have to understand is that you simply can't be everywhere all the time," Snyder said. "I look forward to doing what I can, though. When I've done things in other places, I've thought about how neat it would be to do that here, to do it at home."

Snyder said he will work closely with FCA, a ministry special to him. FCA Huntington Area director Tim Stephens said he is thrilled to have Snyder as a speaker for this year's event.

"I've known coach Snyder for more than 20 years and I know what kind of a person he is," Stephens said. "He's a quality individual. He's a Christian and I look forward to introducing him to the public via the vehicle of FCA."

Stephens said the "Take the Challenge" theme is twofold - to reach students, telling them about Jesus Christ, and to raise a $75,000 operating budget.

"FCA's mission is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord,' " Stephens said. "We're asking the community to take the challenge of helping us meet our budget so that we can continue to reach students at the middle school high school and college level."

Past FCA Huntington Area dinners have featured former Marshall football coach Bobby Pruett and former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne.

"Coach Pruett and coach Osborne did a tremendous job at our banquets," Stephens said. "They are true friends of FCA. Anyone who came to our banquets the last two years knows what a great evening it was because of the speakers we had. Coach Snyder is in that class."

Table sponsorships are available at the $5,000, $1,000, $600 and $400 levels, with each featuring various amenities.

For more information on sponsorships or tickets, call Stephens at (304) 736-4448 or Valerie Bernard at (304) 593-2401, or e-mail Stephens at tstephens@fca.org. Ticket orders may be sent to FCA, PO Box 346, Barboursville, WV 25504.

Snyder led Ironton to the 1982 state championship game and helped Marshall to the 1987 NCAA Division I-AA national championship game. Before returning to Marshall, he was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State.