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Letter from A.D. John Currie -- August 16

Good afternoon Wildcat fans! I hope everyone has safely endured the August heat and had a relaxing and enjoyable summer with friends and family. We are less than three weeks away from the start of the fall sports season as our football, volleyball and cross country programs are beginning final preparations for their first competitions. Here are some of the latest updates from inside K-State Athletics.
 
Saturday is Fan Appreciation Day
As a reminder, our annual football Fan Appreciation Day and autograph session will take place on Saturday evening at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Fans can enter the west side of the stadium at 5 p.m., and watch the final hour of practice. Coach Snyder and selected players will then address the crowd at approximately 6 p.m., before signing autographs for those in attendance. Don't miss your chance to gather on the playing field and meet your favorite Wildcat student-athletes and coaches.

Family Reunion approaching
With fall training camp wrapping up this week, we are inching closer to the season-opener and second annual Family Reunion against UCLA - it's only 19 days away. Fewer than 3,000 tickets remain, so we encourage you to act now and reserve your place in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Not only is it Harley Day on September 4 as well, but many of our former volleyball student-athletes will also be returning for a reunion. Call the ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS, visit k-statesports.com or stop by the ticket office in Bramlage Coliseum to purchase tickets for as little as $35 or season tickets for all six exciting home contests. As one of our new customer service initiatives, the ticket office is now open from 8:30 a.m., until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Student sales surpass 2009!
Students are making their way back into town as the fall semester begins next Monday. At K-State, we are fortunate to have perhaps the best student section in the country which consistently provides a home field advantage for all Wildcat athletic teams. We are grateful and pleased that our student sales for football are already ahead of last year's total with over 6,200 students ordering passes - that's 700 more than last season. ICAT passes sold out quickly by the beginning of the summer and fewer than 400 GA Combo passes for men's basketball and football remain. This is due, in part, to the work of K-State's Student Governing Association, which worked closely with K-State Athletics to restructure student tickets resulting in lower prices for ICAT and GA Combo passes.

Improvements continue at Bill Snyder Family Stadium with FanAssist text alert system
Thanks to the support and participation of our Ahearn Fund members, we have been able to make several facility improvements including a refreshing of the interior of the Vanier Complex. Fans will notice other improvements when they arrive to the stadium on September 4 as all new Cat Cushions have been installed for your comfort and a FanAssist text alert system will also be available. Thanks to FanDriveMedia, this new service will allow fans to request assistance from guest services, report an emergency or anonymously identify an unruly fan, all using a text message. More information will be announced soon, so check back to k-statesports.com for more details.

Show your K-State pride with Team Fan Shop on k-statesports.com
Our new and improved k-statesports.com was launched a few weeks ago to provide our fans with more information, features, and most importantly, ways to improve upon your experience with K-State Athletics. One of the new features on the site is the official online store for K-State Athletics. Team Fan Shop, the largest online retailer of Nike and collegiate merchandise, provides a large variety of official K-State Nike products. So, if you're looking for your favorite Wildcat jersey or want to wear the same sideline polo as Coach Snyder, head to shop.kstatesports.com. And remember, when you're at the stadium, be sure to stop in Cats Closet to purchase your purple products and wear them with pride!

K-Stater enshrined
Congratulations to Bob Boozer, one of our all-time greats in men's basketball. The two-time All-American was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last weekend as a member of the 1960 U.S. gold medal-winning Olympic team. We have a very nice article on Bob, who is also a member of our athletics hall of fame and has had his No. 30 jersey retired, at k-statesports.com as part of the K-State Sports Extra feature. Check it out if you haven't had a chance to read it.

Coaching commitments
Last week, we announced long-term commitments and new contracts for track and field head coach Cliff Rovelto and baseball head coach Brad Hill. Both have been terrific representatives of K-State and leaders of their programs. Attracting and retaining outstanding coaches is one of the most critical elements in building and sustaining championship programs. Continued growth in annual gifts to the Ahearn Fund and ticket purchases by our fans provides the stability to make commitments like these. We appreciate your continued support of K-State student-athletes and coaches!

ESPN's 24 hours of basketball
Coach Martin's leadership of our men's basketball program received another ringing endorsement today with the announcement that the Wildcats will host Virginia Tech on Tuesday, November 16 in Bramlage as part of ESPN's 24-hour marathon of college basketball. The marathon has become one of ESPN's top college basketball events along with Big Monday, Bracketbusters and College Gameday, and we were honored when approached by the network this past spring about taking part in this year's event. ESPN went a step further by securing Virginia Tech for the game, which gives us a great opportunity to host a quality opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference and further showcase our University and Manhattan. I know the mid-afternoon tip time of 3 p.m. will be an inconvenience for some of our fans, especially those who travel longer distances to attend games, but the national exposure and opportunity to participate in such a high-profile event was too good to pass up. Stay tuned to k-statesports.com as the completed 2010-11 men's basketball schedule will be announced very soon.

That's it for today! We look forward to seeing you in Manhattan and Bill Snyder Family Stadium in just a few short weeks, and............

Go Cats!


John Currie