By Steve Svetovich
Former New York Giants two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Snee, Montrose, was among 11 selected to the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Prior to the annual Induction Ceremony held October 27 at the University of Scranton DeNaples Center, he spoke to The Dunmorean.
“This is an honor and a privledge to be here,” he said. “First, I received honors from Boston College as part of its Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame just last week and now this. I am very humbled by it all.
“It is a very emotional time for me, but a very good time to be a part of it all. I grew up in Montrose playing football. It is a game I love. And then this happens. It is a great honor. It feels good.”
Snee, during the exclusive interview, was asked his thoughts on the early season New York Giants quarterback situation when 19-year veteran, former teammate and fellow two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning was benched after two games in favor of rookie Daniel Jones.
“It was a tough decision and a busy camp for the Giants early on,” the 2000 Montrose High School graduate said. “The new quarterback Daniel Jones has a lot of talent. He looks like a keeper. I noticed early on the decision was undecided as to who to start, but they eventually went with the younger guy. I did not get the decision to bench Eli for that one game two years ago though. I did not get that at all.
“Eli is a tireless worker. I cannot say enough about Eli as both a football player and a man. He does so much preparation behind the scenes that people do not know about or see. Playing with Eli Manning, was an absolute pleasure. I do not know one person in the NFL who has a bad word to say about him. That is the ultimate tribute to a player.
“He is not the kind of guy who cares about cameras being in front of him. It was always a grind with him. His endless work would go unnoticed. His leadership and a lot of the work he did was never noticed because it was not in front of a camera.”
Son of Ed and Diane Snee, Montrose, the four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection is married to the former Kate Coughlin, the daughter of former New York Giants head football coach Tom Coughlin who Snee won two Super Bowls with. Snee and his wife have four children.
Snee left Boston College before his senior year and was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft. The right guard helped coach Coughlin, quarterback Manning and the Giants win two Super Bowls over coach Bill Belicheck, quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
“If it were not for coach Tom Coughlin,” he said, “I would not be where I am today. I would not have accomplished what I did. Coach Coughlin made my transition from Boston College into the NFL a lot smoother. He was a very disciplined coach. I really learned how to be a disciplined, tough player under him. And we won some big games.”
Snee was two-time All-Regional, two-time All-State and three-time All-Conference as a defensive lineman at Montrose High School. He is the first NFL player to grow up in Susquehanna County.
He was Regional Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. He recorded 47 quarterback sacks in his three years as a starter at Montrose. He recorded 101 tackles as a senior and led Montrose to district titles in 1997 and 1998.
At Boston College, he was a second team All America selection and All Big East Conference first-team selection in his final year.
Snee had hip surgery after playing in the 2013 Pro Bowl. He was placed on injured reserve in October 2013 and missed the rest of the season due to the injured hip. He retired from the NFL as a player in June 2014.
In May 2017, Snee was hired by Jacksonville Jaguars executive Vice President Tom Coughlin, his father-in law and former coach with the Giants, to be a scout and coaching assistant for the offensive line.
“It keeps me very busy, ” he said. “There is a lot of travel.”
Snee coaches Pee Wee football back home.
“I loved growing up in this area,” he said. “I loved the small town atmosphere and all the friendships I made.”
Significantly down from his 305-pound playing weight, Snee helped Boston College win 25 games, including three bowl wins. It was there where he switched from the defensive to offensive line.
A three-time All Pro selection in the NFL, he said his mantra was “always work harder than the next guy.” Snee said he learned that work ethic from his parents while growing up in Susquehanna County.
“I learned about hard work from my parents. We are a family of few words. I watched them work and grind.
“The best teams are motivated by the fear of letting each other down. I always played not only for my teammates, but for my family and friends back home.”