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Quin Snyder’s redemption story is one even Missouri fans should love

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

For Mizzou fans, the Quin Snyder ended when he had popcorn thrown on him at Braggin’ Rights, then avoided Mike Alden so drastically that Alden had to send Gary Link to his house to fire him.

That was 11 years and change ago; at that moment, Snyder was a 39-year old failure. Coaching success had been his destiny, but he wasn’t able to keep Mizzou’s early good fortune going, and his personal life had begun to spiral.

Quin Snyder is now a successful 50-year old NBA head coach. His Utah Jazz dispatched of the L.A. Clippers on Sunday, giving him his first playoff series victory.

Mike Lupica’s Sunday night Snyder piece at Sports On Earth is a) the best piece Lupica has written in like a decade and b) all sorts of heart-warming.

What he did instead of walking away was go back to work, began building his career back from the bottom up. He ended up taking a job with the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs' team in the NBA Development League. He was a coach, despite how things had gone wrong at Missouri. He wasn't too proud to coach in the D-League. It was here, of course, that Quin Snyder began to get back up.

Snyder, on Sunday night in LA: "Actually pursued a couple of other things. Decided to find out just how much of [coaching] was who I was or what I did. The D-League helped me see that clearly."

In his first year in Austin, his team won a division championship and made it to the league finals. The next year he was Coach of the Year, his team won 32 games, made it to the league semis. In his third year there, with more rookies than anybody else in the league, the Toros reached the semis again.

Snyder: "Pro basketball saved my life."

If you’re a particular strain of bitter fan, then you might still resent Snyder for his Mizzou failures; I hope you’re not, though. That’s an unhealthy way to go through life, and it’s a missed opportunity — this redemption story is unbelievable. Congrats to him.

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  • Mizzou Softball fared better but came close to something far better against No. 17 LSU. They squandered a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the series to lose 3-2, then split 3-1 decisions in a Saturday doubleheader. That should be enough to keep their RPI propped up, but it would have been big to actually win a road series like this.