I would like to start off today by thanking each of you who weathered the storm with us this past weekend at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and returned in full force to help lift the Wildcats to a big win over UCF. We appreciated your patience and orderly cooperation as we waited for the storm to move through the area, and your dedication was observed by millions on national television once the game resumed play. I'm grateful to our operations staff and law enforcement folks who worked together. As we review our emergency management plans please don't hesitate to email your observations and experiences - as always you can go to the TELL JOHN link on the front page of k-statesports.com and let me know what you think.
Saturday's attendance of 50,586 marked the first time since 2004 we have had two games over 50,000 in the same season. Our attendance of 150,106 is also the largest for the first three non-conference games in our history.
Welcome to K-State Indeed!
We continue to focus on providing our fans with the best fan experience in the Big 12 and I wanted to take a moment to share with you an excerpt from an email sent by a UCF fan following their trip to Manhattan this past weekend. It read:
"I have to give a lot of respect to KSU and Manhattan. Those were the friendliest fans to the visiting fans that I have ever met. You know all those ads they run on the scoreboards around the country about sportsmanship and courtesy to visitors? Well they live it in Manhattan. I was greeted by hundreds of fans who seemed generally glad to have visitors. I would go back to Manhattan for a game any time, and I hate to admit it, but that may be my second favorite school now, just based on how I was treated."
What a perfect example of how we want to be identified nationally as an athletics program and fan base. We are fortunate to have such passionate and well-respected fans here at K-State.
Many of you have also commented on all the Fort Riley Day festivities. The standing ovation our 50,000 fans gave to Vietnam era service personnel was especially memorable to one veteran who sent us the following email last night :
"I left the Republic of Vietnam forty years ago and until Saturday's UCF- K-State football game I had never been part of a public recognition as a Vietnam veteran in a non-military setting. I appreciated it. Thank you for the effort."
The thank you is for the K-State family.
While our football team will utilize a bye week on Saturday leading up to our big game with Nebraska on October 7, many of our student-athletes from other programs will be competing throughout the next week and there are a few loose ends to tie up in regards to planning for some of our upcoming events. So here are a few other quick updates this week from inside the department:
Thanks to the Kansas Department of Transportation for working with us to resolve a possible traffic issue on K-18 during game days. As part of the ongoing construction on the highway, lane closures near the airport have resulted in just one lane available both eastbound and westbound. After discussing the matter with KDOT, the Kansas Highway Patrol and Riley County Police officials, we were able to reach an agreement to open all lanes of traffic on game days, allowing fans a more controlled and convenient route to the stadium.
Fall Sports Update
Numerous programs are in the midst of their fall competitive schedules and it's hard to believe that the winter sports season is rapidly approaching. Our volleyball team is coming off a home win over UMKC last night and will be getting back into Big 12 play this weekend. The attendance at Ahearn this season has been terrific - in this week's national volleyball attendance report, we checked in at No. 9, and second among Big 12 schools, with an average of 2,263 fans! Both of our golf teams are coming off top-three finishes this week, the equestrian team just returned from a successful trip to Auburn and Georgia, our tennis team has completed two fall tournaments and our cross country teams are gearing up for next month's Big 12 Championships.
Below is a list of our teams that are in action over the next week - be sure to follow the Cats online at k-statesports.com.
· October 4-5 - Women's golf at Johnnie Imes Invitational in Columbia, Mo.
· October 6 - Volleyball at home against Oklahoma (7 p.m.)
· October 7 - Football at home against Nebraska (6:30 p.m.)
· October 9 - Volleyball at home against Texas (7 p.m.)
· October 9 - Rowing at Head of the Oklahoma in Oklahoma City
That's it for now. We look forward to an exciting two weeks and seeing Ahearn Field House and Bill Snyder Family Stadium packed with purple!