Tazewell Football


Commentary – Hall of an Argument

4 min read

In 1946, Conley Snidow, Jr. was the first Tazewell football Coach to lead the Bulldogs to a State Championship game. Six years earlier, he was the first and only basketball coach to lead the Bulldogs to a State Championship. As of today, Conley Snidow, Jr. is not in the Tazewell High School Hall of Fame.

Conley Snidow’s first head coaching job came at Tazewell High School in 1939. During that season, the Bulldogs went 6-1-1 and shutout five of their opponents. Snidow’s 1941 team went 8-1-1 and shutout their last six opponents. The 1946 Tazewell Bulldogs, coached by Conley Snidow, lost 19-6 to Covington in the Western Virginia Class B State Championship game. Tazewell finished the 1946 season with an 8-3 record. Snidow’s 1947 team might have been his best team ever. The ’47 Bulldogs went 9-1-1 and defeated Wise 28-0 in the Regions. The Bulldogs only loss that year was an 8-6 decision to Wytheville. During his time as the Head Football Coach at Tazewell High School, Conley Snidow compiled a 42-11-6 record in his six seasons (1939-1942, 1946-1947). The 42 wins are the fourth most in school history. His Tazewell teams posted 28 shutouts. That is most shutouts for any Tazewell football Head Coach.

He also served as the Boys Basketball Coach during the 1939-1940 season. He guided the Bulldogs to the state championship on March 15th, 1940. During the Western Region championship game, Tazewell overcame a 24-16 halftime deficit to take a 44-34 victory over visiting Harrisonburg. Junior Hall and Carl Young led the way for the Bulldogs. Harrisonburg had won state titles in 1936 and 1937. The state title game pitted Tazewell against Suffolk. Hall and Young once again led the way scoring 15 points apiece as Tazewell won 46-38 to capture the state championship. That state championship basketball team consisted of Harry Smith, Junior Murray, Carl Young, Billy Grimes and Junior Hall as starters, while George Grimes, Bill Kiser, Sonny Peery and John Turzi were the top reserves. As of today, that is the only basketball state championship in school history.

​During his time at Tazewell, Snidow also served as the Athletic Director and Principal.

​Prior to coming to Tazewell, Conley Snidow played college football at Roanoke College from 1935-1937. He was Captain of the freshman football team. He was active on campus, as President of the Monogram Club in 1938 and Vice President of the student body. After his playing days ended, he coached running backs at Roanoke College. He was inducted into the Roanoke College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1971.

​Coach Snidow left Tazewell in 1948 to pursue a coaching opportunity at Emory & Henry College. Snidow won just three games the first year. Over the next four years, Emory & Henry won four Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships and captured 38 victories. During his time at Emory & Henry, he went 40-13-1 as the football coach and 78-47 as the basketball coach. In football, he led two teams to the Tangerine Bowl. In 1972 he was inducted into the Emory & Henry Athletic Hall of Fame.

​He left Emory & Henry to become the Head Football Coach at Wofford. In 14 years (1953-66) he recorded 10 winning seasons and a total of 77 victories. His teams won 7 conference titles. He held the record for the most wins at Wofford for thirty-five years. After resigning as the football coach in 1966, he served as the Athletic Director until 1971. In 1976, the college awarded him with the Distinguished Citizen’s Award. He was inducted into the Wofford Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981.

​During his years as a football coach, he was considered an offensive innovator. He was one of a handful of coaches to use the option-oriented Wing-T formation, and some of his former players say he invented the Veer long before Bill Yeoman—The University of Houston coach was credited with creating it. He eventually became known for a spread formation that divided the offensive line and wide receivers into three groups of three. Steve Spurrier, who saw Snidow run this formation during the 1949 Burley Bowl, would use the formation sporadically while at Florida and South Carolina. Spurrier referred to the formation as the Emory & Henry formation in honor of the man he first saw run it.

​During his career, Snidow coached such notables as Jerry Richardson, founder of the Carolina Panthers, and Fisher Deberry, who coached the Air Force Academy for more than 20 years.

​Conley Trigg Snidow, Jr. also served as a Navy officer during World War II where he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

​After his retirement from football, Coach Snidow entered real estate as a broker.

​Mr. Snidow was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church serving in various roles including Trustee and a member of the Administrative Board. He also served on a number of boards including the Mary Black Memorial Hospital, the Council for the Aging, the Community Chest, and the Converse Heights Neighborhood Association. He was a former chairman of the Spartanburg Parks and Recreation Commission, past president of Family Services, former member of the Spartanburg Residential Development Corporation, former president of the Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, and chairman of the Governor’s Law Enforcement Assistance Task Force.

​Conley Trigg Snidow, Jr. was born on April 26th, 1916 in Princeton, WV. He died on October 6th, 2007 in Midlothian, VA.



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