|Year:||Class of 2010|
On his own at an early age without any parents in the Illinois countryside, Ray Snyder learned the value of friends and hard work throughout his life. Rich never picked up a basketball until freshman year of high school; instantly falling in love with the game. While he was enlisted in the Air Force/military he honed his hoop skills and led the Air Force team to the All Service Championships. It is here where a friend told him about the College of Marin, a two year college out in California. Upon his release from the military, he contacted his army buddy and rode a Greyhound Bus from Southern California in the Fall of 1946 and arrived at the College of Marin campus. During the next two years he enjoyed success on and off the court as he led the Mariners to a National Junior College Championship in 1947-48 and met and married his future wife, Patricia, of 58 years. He continued his education and hoop playing at Oregon State and during his attendance led his team to a Final Four in 1949 and is a member of Oregon State Hall of Fame. After college, he continued to play competitive AAU basketball which culminated in an AAU National Championship title in 1951.
Ray enjoyed tremendous success as a teacher, coach, and athletic director while working at Monte Vista High in Cupertino. He was given CCS and California Coach of the Year honors in 1979. Amongst his other numerous league and section championships, he is most proud of his highlights that brought recognition to others. He was part of a group of coaches who reinstated the CIF State Basketball Championships in 1951. He led one of the first high school programs to compete internationally, in Australia and New Zealand , while also being one of the first high schools to play on national TV in the “King Cotton Classic” in Arkansas, 1987. He was integral in creating many of the associations for coaches and athletic directors that are in place today in California high school athletics.