After 35 years of either playing or coaching basketball, Lyndell Snyder knew it was time to step away when he felt his passion for preparation beginning to wane.
Snyder tendered his resignation March 11 after six seasons as Canal Winchester’s boys coach. He went 81-62 overall and 29-39 in league play and led the Indians to Division I district semifinals in 2018 and 2019.
“My drive and desire to practice was just starting to fade and I did not want to cheat the kids and I did not want to cheat the program,” said Snyder, whose resignation is effective March 30. “Another big piece of it is I want to spend time with my family. I want to go to (my son) Brady’s games (at Ohio University-Lancaster). I want to be able to watch every one of his games, not just half of them. My older son (Brendan) is graduating from college and transitioning into life, so I want to be there to help him with that as well.
“I’ve been at this a long time. I just needed a break.”
Snyder scored 1,036 points for the Indians from 1985-89 and went on to play at Rio Grande before coaching stints at Cheshire River Valley and now-closed Heritage Christian Academy.
Snyder joined former coach Kent Riggs’ staff before the 1999-2000 season, which ended in a Division III state semifinal loss to LeBron James-led Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Riggs resigned as coach in February 2014 after going 442-194 in 27 seasons, stepped down as athletics director in 2016 after 18 years and eventually became head coach at Lancaster, where he recently completed his fourth season.
Snyder had only one losing season with the Indians and won at least 16 games three times, including this past season, when Canal Winchester went 16-8 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Capital Division. The Indians lost to Whitehall 65-51 in the second round of the district tournament.
“I think so highly of him as a coach and a human being. He’s a genuinely very caring individual and I know he’s leaving with a heavy heart, but I respect his decision,” athletics director Pat Durbin said. “He’s a local hero in Canal Winchester. He’s in our Athletic Hall of Fame. He is Canal Winchester through and through. He’s done a heck of a job for the program and every individual he’s ever coached.”
Two of those players were his sons. Brady Snyder scored 1,367 points from 2015-19, fifth most in program history, and Brendan had 940 from 2011-15.
“(Coach Snyder) filled big shoes. That wasn’t an easy task,” Durbin said. “Not only did Lyndell meet expectations, but he exceeded them. The next coach will have two big shoes to fill.”
Snyder will continue to teach physical education at Indian Trail Elementary and serve as the high school’s fall and spring faculty sports manager.
His wife, Kellina Snyder, is Canal Winchester’s volleyball coach.
Lyndell Snyder did not rule out a return to coaching.
“I’m only 48 years old,” he said. “I don’t think my coaching days are over. Maybe just taking a year or two off will make me realize if I really do miss it.”