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Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 10

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

It's great to be back in Manhattan following a terrific week at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The bowl staff and the many volunteers - led by President Rick Baker, Chairman Tommy Bain and Team Selection Chair Fin Ewing - provided outstanding service in hosting the Wildcats and providing our student-athletes, staff and fans with a first-class experience. And, the entire nation tuned in as the classic was among the highest rated program in America that evening among all networks, including ABC, CBS and NBC, while over 8.3 million viewers were focused in on the Powercat and our university!

I would like to thank those of you who made the trip to Dallas/Arlington to support the K-State football program and our university. From the 15,000-plus fans that packed Rangers Ballpark for the pep rally, to the 35,000-plus who filled Cowboys Stadium for the game, once again, you have proven once again that K-State has the best fans in the country!

Wildcat Family Mourns the Loss of a Legend
Sadly, former Wildcat head coach Vince Gibson passed away late last night after a long battle with ALS. Coach was instrumental in the development of the K-State football program and we appreciate all that he and his wife Cecile have done for Kansas State University. It was great to have Coach Gibson and Cecile back in Manhattan during the 2010 football season, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Gibson family as we mourn his loss.

Big-Time Big 12 Basketball in Bramlage Tonight and Tomorrow!
The 18th- ranked K-State Wildcats welcome undefeated and fourth-ranked Baylor to Bramlage tonight at 7 p.m., for a showdown that will share the early conference race. Due to winter break a limited number of $40 GA tickets remain available. Come out and cheer on the Cats and pack Bramlage with purple!

Tomorrow night, Coach Patterson's charges host Missouri at 7 p.m. K-State is 11-3, 2-0 in the Big 12, and have an RPI of No. 9 and a strength of schedule of No. 5. Tickets are available for as low as $5 for general admission youth seats and $8 for general admission adult seats. The contest will also be available on FS Kansas City and throughout the K-State Sports Network.

Big Basketball Wins
Both our men's and women's basketball teams picked up huge wins last week. The women's team is off to a 2-0 start in Big 12 play following a big overtime win over No. 8 Texas A&M and a victory in Lawrence over the Jayhawks, moving our record to 4-1 this season in the Sunflower Showdown! Congrats to Brittany Chambers on being named Big 12 Player of the Week following her efforts in both wins.

Meanwhile, a great crowd cheered on Coach Martin and the men's team as they knocked the seventh-ranked Missouri Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 75-59 win on Saturday. We made it back to Bramlage from DFW for the last 12 minutes - then my daughter Virginia and I drove over to Lawrence. For a K-State AD, any day you can witness wins over both Missouri and Kansas in person is a good one!

The Final Polls
Congrats to Coach Snyder and the football squad for their final rankings of No. 15 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. We appreciate the 22 seniors who gave so much in returning K-State to national prominence...and with 14 total starters returning we are excited about the 2012 season.

They Kept the Home Fires Burning
While many of us were in Texas for the Cotton Bowl, numerous K-State Athletics staff members remained in Manhattan over the holiday break ensuring that the daily operations of the department remained ongoing and our teams were prepared for practices and competitions. Folks like Nick Pecenka, Terry Pittman, Frank Berg and our entire facilities staff made sure Bramlage Coliseum was open for business (and three fine basketball wins), Assistant Director of Ticket Operations Stephanie VanDeCreek staffed our ticket office during our holiday basketball games and Assistant AD Stacy Martin manned the administrative front while putting the finishing touches on calendar year-end financial statements and supporting our teams. I appreciate all 136 KSA staff members for the hard work they put in on a daily basis.

Track and Field Hosts KSU Invitational; Tennis Begins Spring Slate
Coach Rovelto and our track and field teams will host the KSU Invitational on Saturday as Oklahoma State, Tulsa and UMKC visit Ahearn Field House. The action starts at 11 a.m. and admission is free! Come out and see the likes of Mantas Silkauskas and NCAA Champion Ryann Krais compete in front of the home crowd. And remember, we will host a number of world-caliber athletes later this spring as the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be at the RV Christian Track Complex May 11-13.

Coach Bietau and the No. 46 Wildcat tennis team kick off the spring schedule this weekend in Athens, Ga. Led by Big 12 Player of the Year Petra Niedermayerova, the Cats are looking to build upon last season's success, which included a school-record 16 wins.  

Lockett, Malone Headed to Walter Camp Celebration
Two Wildcats will be honored for their 2011 All-America recognition this weekend as freshman Tyler Lockett and Nigel Malone will head to Yale University for the 2011 Walter Camp All-America weekend in New Haven, Conn. Tyler was the lone freshman on the 2011 Walter Camp list after leading the nation in kick return average, while Nigel led the Big 12 in interceptions this season as a junior with seven. Congrats to these two student-athletes as well as many other Wildcats that earned national recognition this football season, including Tyler and offensive lineman B.J. Finney who were named Freshman All-Americans yesterday.

Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan
Remember to click here and check out the campaign for Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium  Master Plan, the West Stadium Center. K-Stater's have responded with unbelievable excitement since the campaign and WSC images were unveiled last week. Let's get to it!

That will do it for today. We will see you tonight in Bramlage, and as always, thanks for all that you do to make K-State such a special place.

Go 'Cats!