Nov. 3, 2010
Ryan Graney, Texas Media Relations
As the Texas football team prepares to take on the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas, Longhorn tight ends coach Bruce Chambers will be excited to see a familiar face. Chambers will be on the opposite sideline of his position coach from his time as a receiver at North Texas State in the late 1970's. Looking back, coach Chambers has fond memories of his old mentor, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder.
"Coach Snyder taught me what hard work was all about," Chambers said. "I was thinking about some of the things I took from him. He never took a lazy step. He was a guy that you had to finish everything you started. He paid attention to detail. You can see that in his football teams. He was one of the ones that helped me become the coach and the person that I am, because he taught me hard work - not to shy away from it, to embrace it. You knew that every day when you went to practice it was going to be about finishing what you started. I can see that in his football teams."
The hard work and determination that Chambers learned from Snyder is something that he says has carried over to his coaching career.
"On the field, it's about finishing what you do," Chambers said. "If it's a pass route, you finish. Always imagine in your mind that you're scoring. That's what he always told us. If you caught the ball and jogged, he would ask us if it was a ballgame if we would jog. He knew the answer to every question that he asked you. He'd make us do it again. I brought that from him and incorporated it into my coaching.
The other thing is that he realized every player was a human being. He didn't look at us as a football player. He looked at us as young men. There was a time when he would sit down and visit with you. I remember the first time I visited with him I was scared to death of him. I realized that this guy cares about me as a person - not just as a football player, but as a young man. I've taken that into what I do as a coach that [the players are] people."
After learning under Snyder, Chambers went on to coach at his alma mater, Dallas Carter High School for over a decade. Following his high school coaching career, he joined Mack Brown's staff at Texas. Chambers asserts that there are a number of similarities between Coach Snyder and Coach Brown.
"They both pay great attention to detail," Chambers said. "They don't let anything slip. They don't let you get away with anything. They both believe in being great. Whatever it is, they believe that you should finish strong at what you're doing. They believe in things being organized - practice, all the fundamentals of football. People always have said that's what great coaches do. I've been really fortunate and blessed to have those men in my life. Not only are they that way about football, but they're that way about life. Being around Coach Brown going on 13 years, even at this age, I'm still learning from him."
Chambers admits that he enjoys coaching against his former mentor, both as a coach and as a friend.
"It's the student playing against the teacher," Chambers said. "You want to do well in front of your teacher. I'm looking forward to seeing him this weekend."