Getting To Know ... David Snell

Staff Photo: John Bohn David Snell is the Buford boys track coach.

Staff Photo: John Bohn David Snell is the Buford boys track coach.

David Snell, 43, has been the head boys track and field coach at Buford for 13 years. Snell is also an assistant on the football team.

A 1988 Stephens County graduate, Snell attended Auburn University where he received his degree in marketing in 1993.

Snell teaches work-based learning at Buford High School and his wife Amy teaches at Buford Middle School. The couple has two daughters Caroline and Calle, 10.

In this latest installment of "Getting To Know ... ," Snell talks to staff writer Brandon Brigman about coaching track, his involvement with FCA and Auburn football.

BB: If we had a coaches all-county meet, what would be your event?

DS: Probably the quarter (meter run). I'm not fast enough.

BB: Did you do track in high school?

DS: Actually, I did not. I was a football player. It was year-round football pretty much.

BB: Were y'all pretty good when you were at Stephens County?

DS: We were. Well, we were 12-2 my senior year. Ken Swilling, everyone remembers him, played at Georgia Tech. He was the stud guy on our team. We were pretty good.

BB: Who's the best track and field guy you've coached?

DS: P.K. Sam, who went on to play (football) at Florida State and probably Matt Pridemore, who played football at Duke and ran track at Duke also.

BB: When you look around the track and field, you see a lot of football guys. What's the connection between football and track compared to other sports?

DS: Track is a great training ground for football. If our football players are not involved with another sport, they pretty much know they are going to run track. We have a lot of guys that are not great track athletes, that just want to get better and get faster. They just want to train.

BB: I'm told you look the same now as you did 10 years ago. How do you stay so young?

DS: (laughs) Oh gosh. Get up early and stay up late. I don't know.

BB: Are you related to any of the Snells from Snellville?

DS: No, all my Snells are in South Alabama on farms. No, no correlation to the Snells. I get asked that question all the time.

BB: You're an assistant on the football team. Are you ever in awe in the amount of success the program has had the last decade?

DS: Yeah, I kind of am in awe. We've been very fortunate over the years to have great athletes, great leadership with Coach (Dexter) Wood and Coach (Jess) Simpson. We have a great offseason program with Dickey May and we don't have to reinvent the wheel on offense or defense too much. We kind of tweak what we do and already know. A lot of our varsity coaches work with our freshman team and we kind of build a program from the freshman team up.

BB: Why do you think Buford has been so successful for so long? A lot of programs go on three or five year runs, but not 10-plus years.

DS: I don't know. We just get up and go to work every day. We coach out of fear probably. We hate to lose. There's a lot of competitive guys on staff, a lot of great men that I get to work with every day. It's so much fun to get to work with those guys.BB: You're very involved with FCA at Buford. How did you get involved with it?

DS: I actually received Christ in high school at an FCA event and it kind of changed my life the summer before my senior year. I went to the University of Auburn and was real active and it's a huge passion of mine. It's a great ministry that points student athletes to Jesus. It's awesome, I love it.

BB: Did you know Buford head football coach Jess Simpson at Auburn?

DS: That's how we met.

BB: Oh yeah, how did y'all meet?

DS: Well, we lived in the dorm together for four years. My uncle is Coach (Pat) Dye, so I was like a student assistant on the team, so I lived in the dorm with all the athletes and he and I became friends. We've basically been friends for 21 years now.

BB: So former Auburn football coach Pat Dye is your uncle? You have the connection for tickets then, right?

DS: (laughs) Well, I don't know about that. I try to take my family to one Auburn game a year. He's living on a farm outside of Auburn. I don't even know if he goes to games now.

BB: How tough was last season for you as an Auburn fan?

DS: Very tough. A lot of former players talking on the phone, fans and former players griping, it was tough. We are very, very excited about Coach (Gus) Malzahn and his staff. We'll see what happens.

BB: What's your spring break plans?

DS: Go to St. Simons with my family for about three or four days and then come back and work track.

BB: You recently turned 43 years old. What did you ask for for your birthday?

DS: I told them I just want an iTunes gift card and we'll probably go out to dinner. That's pretty much it. Not spend too much money.

BB: Any favorite place for birthday dinners?

DS: Probably Stoney River. It's hard to beat that.

BB: Where's your favorite place to fish?

DS: I love to fish. My dad took me fishing my whole life. I never get to go much as I like, but I do like to fish.

BB: Any particular spots?

DS: Anything that's biting -- brim, bass and trout is what I like to do best.

BB: You have twin girls. How hard is to tell them apart?

DS: Very hard. They are identical. They are a lot of fun and really into gymnastics.

BB: Are they big into clothes, shopping and boys yet?

DS: No, definitely not. I'm going to hold off on that as long as I can.BB: How long do you see yourself at Buford?

DS: I don't know, just take it one day at a time. Wherever God leads me, that's where I'm at. We love it here, we're rooted in Buford. My wife is a middle school teacher there, so this is where we are at and where we love it.