INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ken Snow, a two-time national player of the year, died Sunday, three days before his birthday. He was 50.
Steve Franklin, director of education at Indiana Soccer, made the announcement Monday on Facebook. The Indiana athletic department said it confirmed the death through a family member.
“It is with great sorrow that we pass along the news of yesterday's passing of Ken Snow due to complications from COVID-19," Franklin said in the post. The school could not confirm Snow's death as being COVID-19 related.
Snow might have been the best player in Indiana history, and his uncanny talent was on display from the moment he arrived on campus in 1987. The Illinois native led the nation and set a single-season school record with 28 goals as a freshman.
He was just warming up. He wound up scoring 84 goals in 87 matches, finishing his career with 196 total points — both school records. He still ranks sixth all-time on the Division I career goals list.
“He was the finest attacking player that I ever had the privilege of coaching.” six-time national championship-winning coach Jerry Yeagley said in a statement issued by the athletic department.
Snow didn't just score. He won, too.
Snow led the Hoosiers to back-to-back College Cup appearances in 1988 and 1989, helping the program capture its third national title in the first trip. He became the first four-time All-American in school history in 1990, and was part of Soccer America's 1980s all-decade team, and its all-century team.
And after claiming the both the Hermann Trophy and the rival Missouri Athletic Club player of the year award in 1988, he did it again in 1990 to become the only player to win the award in non-successive seasons.
“Ken was the most highly decorated player to ever wear the IU uniform," Yeagley said. “He is the only player to have earned four first-team All-America selections and two national player of the year awards."
Illinois high school fans got a glimpse into what was coming when he scored a then-state record 128 goals in 74 matches at Hoffman Estates High School near Chicago.
But Snow's successes didn't translate into international or professional fame.
He appeared twice with the U.S. national team in 1988, bounced around with six indoor soccer league teams in the 1990s, and was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in the 16th round of the inaugural Major League Soccer draft. He never played in an MLS game.
He eventually founded the Ken Snow Goal Scoring Camp, holding events throughout the Midwest. Earlier this year he announced the June camps had been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.