Good Morning K-State Nation,
It's already been a busy week including two excellent days of Big 12 meetings and a big home basketball win over Texas, both of which we will review in a few moments, along with a few other topics from around the department.
However, I first want to share the very exciting news that later this morning we will be announcing that Coach Snyder has signed a new five-year contract that will solidify his services through the 2017 season. The new contract, which has an automatic rollover provision after the completion of each season mirroring the agreement signed in 2009, increases Coach's compensation to $2.75 million for the 2013 season, while annual increases of $100,000 will bring the five-year total to $14.75 million through the 2017 season. The new deal has been approved by the K-State Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors and President Kirk Schulz. Check k-statesports.com later this morning for our full announcement.
We are thrilled Coach Snyder has accepted this new contract and proud of the competitive improvement our team has made - both on the field and in the classroom - under his leadership. Coach Snyder's daily drive, focus and energy in continuing to build the K-State football program are truly remarkable and inspirational. While he is not one to focus attention on himself, President Schulz and I felt that it was important to recognize, in this very significant way, his tremendous leadership and commitment to continuing to lead the K-State football program.
Coach Snyder, our coaching staff and our student-athletes have done their part by representing the university in a first-class manner while also providing championship performances both on the field and in the classroom. Our fans have done their part by filling Bill Snyder Family Stadium every week, setting a national standard for post-season travel and investing in transformational projects such as the new West Stadium Center. Thanks to our K-State donors, over $100 million in facility improvements are currently ongoing to enhance our student-athlete and fan experience.
We will continue to do our part by providing our coaching staffs and student-athletes the resources needed to maintain championship-level performances. Thanks to your gifts to the Ahearn Fund and ticket purchases, we have made tremendous strides over the last several years and our assistant coaching salaries and incentive structure are now very competitive in relation to both our Big 12 and national BCS conference peers.
If you have driven by Bill Snyder Family Stadium lately you've seen the incredible progress being made. Even though the 2012 Big 12 Championship run seems like only a few weeks ago, the 2013 season will be right around the corner as we open the new West Stadium Center. Check back in the next several weeks for 2013 ticket information, and remember, we have eight home games this coming season!
Big 12 Moving Forward
As mentioned earlier, I was in the Dallas area Monday and Tuesday for excellent discussions with Commissioner Bowlsby and his staff and our athletic directors. It was a great dialogue about the pro's and con's of our current 10-member configuration and the national landscape, as well as discussion about the future of our post-season lineup. In the end, we are all very pleased with our membership, TV contracts and the incredible competition we have in the Big 12, but we are certainly paying very close attention to the national landscape. Click here to watch Commissioner Bowlsby's excellent summary comments.
President Schulz Elected to NCAA Executive Committee
After just 10 months of service and leadership on the NCAA Board of Directors, President Kirk Schulz was elected to the Executive Committee, which is the highest governance body in the NCAA and composed of institutional chief executive officers who work closely with NCAA president Mark Emmert on Association-wide issues. President Schulz has provided terrific leadership for Kansas State University and the Big 12 Conference, and strengthening the interconnectivity between intercollegiate athletics and campus communities through his roles with the NCAA is a key component to K-State to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025. What a terrific and significant honor for our president and K-State! Click here to read the full press release.
Spirited Crowd Key in Win over Texas
Despite the snow and ice, an inspired crowd and rowdy student section played a pivotal role in last night's 83-57 win over Texas. Coach Weber saw multiple players step up and play big in the game, including Omari Lawrence and Thomas Gipson who came off the bench to score 12 and 17 points, respectively. At 16-4 and 5-2, the No. 18 Cats are now tied for second place in the Big 12 standings heading into Saturday's 5 p.m. ESPN2-televised game at 14-5, 5-2 Oklahoma. And, how about the standing ovation our Wildcat baseball team received during a first-half timeout as they prepare for the upcoming season, and then B.J. Finney, Ty Zimmerman and Tre Walker's inspirational comments as the 2012 Big 12 football champions were introduced at halftime!
Sunflower Showdown Saturday in Bramlage
The K-State women host KU on Saturday as Brittany Chambers continues her assault on the record books as one of the greatest producers in Wildcat history. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. and the game can be seen live on Cox 22 and Metro Sports. It's an especially great day to bring the kids or grandkids as Willie will be celebrating his birthday. Also, be sure and catch a special halftime presentation as Shalee Lehning will be honored by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) as a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
K-State teams on the road this weekend also include our #No. 6-ranked equestrian team on a season-opening trip to California, and our nationally-ranked track teams heading to a meet in Lincoln. Neb. Best of luck to all K-State student-athletes this weekend!
Again, thanks for all that you do in support of our student-athletes, and...