Before he was the leading candidate for the NFL's MVP award in his first year as the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes was lighting up the stat sheets at Texas Tech—terrorizing the Big XII conference with 9,700 yards passing with 77 touchdowns in his final two years of college.
All that led him to becoming the Chiefs' target with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but it was during those years he spent at Texas Tech that Mahomes grew an appreciation for the recently-retired Bill Snyder—K-State's Hall of Fame coach who recently announced that he's stepping down after 27 years leading that program.
"It's just sad because you know how great of a coach is," Mahomes explained. "I got to play against him a few times and I was able to beat him once, but he beat us twice. He got after me a little bit."
Snyder, 79, went 215-117-1 during his time at K-State, which is often described as the best coaching job, and turnaround, in college football history.
Throughout his career, Snyder was known for sending hand-written notes to opposing players who had earned his respect. Mahomes was the recipient of two of those letters, which he still has to this day.
"I got two letters and I thought they were cool because they weren't about the touchdowns that I threw," Mahomes, who threw for 888 yards with 5 touchdowns and one interception in his two career starts against Snyder and K-State, explained. "One was about how I made a run on third-and-eight, and he loved the toughness that I showed on the run.
"Then, the other was about the fact that I had played after an injury, and he just respected and loved the passion that I had for the game to get out there. I thought that was really cool."
Mahomes and the Chiefs are preparing to host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.