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Doug Dickey Visits K-State

By Mark Janssen
 
 
The Dickey name has been most significant in Kansas State athletic history.
 
There was the legendary quarterback Lynn Dickey in the late 1960s, who still holds Wildcat passing records. There was coach Jim Dickey, who led K-State to its first-ever postseason bowl game in 1982. And, there was Jim's son, Darrell Ray, who quarterbacked that '82 team to the Independence Bowl.
 
But another Dickey that isn't as well known in K-State history is Doug Dickey, who was a visitor to the K-State campus and Bill Snyder Family Stadium this past weekend when the Wildcats took on Central Florida.
 
Dickey, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, is the former head football coach at Tennessee from 1964-69, and the athletics director of the Volunteer program from 1985-2002.
 
It was in 1967 that Dickey had a defensive coordinator by the name of Vince Gibson, who he encouraged to check into the vacant K-State coaching position.
 
"I had been to K-State for a clinic, so I got to see the football scenery and meet the people," said Dickey. "When the job opened, I told the AD (Bebe Lee) that I had a guy who would fit their picture.
 
"Vince had an unusual enthusiasm. He was an individual that people would gravitate to," Dickey continued. "I told Vince to go be himself and that he would do a great job of renewing some enthusiasm that was needed."
 
At the age of 32, Gibson immediately installed the "Purple Pride" and "We Gonna Win" mentality, and he did so with 33 wins over the next eight seasons. Five seasons resulted in at least five victories, which was unheard of by a Wildcat coach in those days.
 
"Vince was always an underdog kind of guy. He was small and slow as a player, so he had to overcome those traits, and I just thought he would coach the same way," Dickey said. "He had played at Florida State, which had been an all-girls school not too much earlier than his arrival, so he was use to coming from the bottom. Because of all of this, I just thought he would be up to the challenge."
 
Dickey was later linked to the K-State with the hiring of John Currie as director of athletics in 2009.
 
Dickey hired Currie to be the Executive Director of the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Fund in 1997. After Currie moved to the Wake Forest athletic department for two years, he returned to Knoxville in 2000 as Assistant Athletics Director for Development.
 
"John had a continuing rise in responsibility every year that he was with me in our development program," Dickey said. "John was a lot like Vince in terms of having a terrific enthusiasm for his job. He's very bright on issues and finding solutions for those issues. He's always been an individual with a good decisiveness about him in solving problems."
 
Dickey went on to call Currie "a professionally trained AD" when it came to marketing and development.
 
"These days, something like 35 or 40 percent of your money comes from development. Then there's the importance of the marketing, licensing, concessions and all the contractual relationships outside of just managing your coaching staff," said Dickey. "You constantly have 25 or 30 contractual relationships going on that need revisions within your partnerships."
 
Dickey was one of the last former football coaches turned AD. Posting a career record of 104-58-6 as a head coach at Tennessee (1964-69) and Florida (1970-78), he returned to the Volunteers as athletics director in 1985 to begin what would be a 17-year stay.
 
It was Dickey who came up with the orange-and-white checkerboard end zone at Tennessee, and the orange "T" on the side of the Vols' helmets.
 
 
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com.