Kathy Snyder, Southern Hall of Fame Girls Basketball and Field Hockey Coach, Dies at 58
The Shore Conference lost a legend when Hall of Fame Southern Regional field hockey and girls basketball coach Kathy Snyder, who had more than 800 career wins combined in the two sports, died in her sleep early Friday morning at 58 years old.
Snyder was in the midst of her 35th year as the girls basketball head coach at Southern and reached the 500-win milestone in 2010. In 2012, she won her 300th game as the head coach in field hockey. In basketball, she led the Rams to the 1984 Shore Conference Tournament title, and appearances in the South Jersey Group IV final in 2009 and 2010 in addition to multiple division titles. In 2002, she led the field hockey team to the SCT final, and the Rams also won multiple division championships in her tenure.
A mother of three and a longtime physical education and driver's education teacher at Southern, she was a standout athlete herself in the early 1970s who played under legendary Shore Regional coach Nancy Williams for the Blue Devils. Her daughters, Erin and Morgan Snyder, both starred for her on Southern's teams in the 2000s. Snyder was also a breast cancer survivor who continued coaching while undergoing treatments in 2006.
"As a mother, coach, teacher and friend, Kathy is irreplaceable,'' Williams said. "Her legacy will live on in all who were touched by her, especially Erin, Morgan and Brandon.''
Snyder's death comes just one week after the death of Raymond Mansuy, the husband of her long-time assistant, Paula Mansuy. All games involving Southern teams on Friday and Saturday have been postponed in the wake of Snyder's death.
Our condolences go out to Snyder's family and the Southern community. Anyone with remembrances of Snyder, please comment in the COMMENT section below to help honor a coaching great.
Here are remembrances from just some of the many lives Snyder touched along the way.
"Some of my fondest basketball memories while at Toms River North were games played against Kathy Snyder and her Southern Regional Rams. I always had the utmost respect for her while I was a player, and even more so now being a coach. I will never forget the congratulations card Coach Snyder sent me after I scored my 1,000th point and my team had won the state championship. She was a class act all around and will be greatly missed throughout the basketball community." -
Intermediate South Seminoles
Assistant Varsity Girl's Basketball Coach at High School South
"I was absolutely heartbroken to learn the news today of the passing of Kathy Snyder. She was an icon of a coach, but more importantly, a gem of a person! Kathy was humble and modest and never sought the attention, and probably did not receive the attention she so assuredly deserved! A true Hall of Famer of a Coach, her record speaks for itself.
I have lost a colleague and a friend....very sad day for everyone. My thoughts and prayers go out to Southern Regional, the Girls she coached and to her family.
With My Deepest Sympathy,
George Sourlis, Rumson girls basketball
I'm very very saddened at the news. I wasn't on the basketball court or field hockey field, but got my career inspiration after serving as team manager/statistician for basketball and field hockey from 1998-02. I'm now a sports information director at La Salle University, with women's basketball and field hockey among the sports I cover. Even though I hadn't talked to Mrs. Snyder in awhile, I always say I got my career start with her and appreciate that opportunity!" - Michelle Serabian
"My wife and I and my family have known Kathy since she was a young woman playing for Nancy Williams at Shore. She was a wonderful person. She was a marvelous athlete. I would still see her once a year or so when Shore would play a game against Southern. She would always have a welcome smile and a hug. May God bless her and her family." - John and Nancy Welch
"I am stunned. I have so many vibrant memories of Kathy Snyder, who spent countless hours attempting to help me and so many other young women become stronger. Such a determined, passionate person. She had more impact than she probably knew. Such a loss. I played basketball and field hockey (and also ran track) at Southern from 1979-1983, through some of Kathy's early years as a coach. She was a force of nature." - Sarah Tantillo
"I am deeply saddened and shocked by the loss of coach Snyder. I played for her 1997-2000. I graduated in 2000. She impacted me in every way possible. She is the reason I am the athlete I was then and now. I played both field hockey and basketball for her all 4 years. I have many memories of her both on and off the playing field. She is the reason I played field hockey and basketball in college. I remember my senior year when she came to get me out of English class to tell me she had just got off the phone with the head field hockey coach at Wesley College and that I had been accepted and would be playing field hockey at the next level. She promised me that for every year I played in college she would provide me with a new stick. True to her word, she did.
She made me the sole captain my senior year on the field hockey team. I expressed my gratitude for the opportunity and told her I was nervous about being the only captain. Her response to me was 'you will be fine, just keep these girls in line,' so I did what she asked me to do. I remember the day she called my house to tell me I had made the first-team All-Shore field hockey team in the fall of 2000. She said she was so proud of me because it had been so long since an athlete had made first team.
She is most of the reason why I do what I do today. I teach physical education, driver education and am the head girls basketball coach at Cape May Tech High School in Cape May County. I have been here for 8 years. I use what I learned from her in most aspects of my coaching and teaching. My first year at Cape May Tech in 2006-2007 I contacted her about my new head coaching job for the girls basketball team. We were a very young program with some tough to handle attitudes. She asked me to bring my team down to Southern for a Saturday morning practice, so I did. She let my team practice right along with her team. It was exactly what I needed and my team needed.
She taught me the perfect balance of a coach/player relationship. I learned how to have the same relationships with my players. I thank God I was able to play for her and to learn from her through high school and beyond. Her wisdom will forever be instilled in me. Thank you for your life lessons coach Snyder.. I love you and will miss you." - Ginny Roma
"Mrs. Snyder was definitely one of the best Physical Education teachers Southern Regional could ever have. The great thing is that I didn't even have her as a teacher, but just seeing her interact with other students and be such a great role model to everyone, especially her athletes. She was one of the many reasons I wanted to become a Physical & Health Education teacher and I hope that I will have all the qualities that made her such a great person, role model and teacher." - Matt Chesney, 2009 Southern Regional graduate
"I am so saddened to hear of the death of Kathy Snyder. Kathy was a role model to me and many coaches in the Shore area. I had the opportunity to coach against this fierce competitor and had a tremendous respect for the passion and commitment she gave to her athletes. I am sad for her family, athletes and the entire school community as they prepare to mourn her passing."
Deborah A. Schwartz
Supervisor of Health and Physical Education
Toms River Regional Schools