Good Afternoon K-State Nation,
It is a beautiful day in Manhattan as we get ready for a busy weekend of K-State student-athletes in action across the nation! Of course here in Bramlage Coliseum we are looking forward to a great crowd for tonight's 7 p.m. third-round WNIT matchup with Ball State. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, so come out and support seniors Brittany Chambers and Mariah White and our Wildcats as they continue to charge through the bracket. Brittany is as hot as any player in the country right now as she followed her school-record 42 points against Texas Southern with 28 versus Illinois State in the second round! Watch on K-StateHD.TV if you can't be there in person or listen live across the K-State Sports Network or online at k-statesports.com.
A Last Look Back at a Historic Big 12 Championship Men's Basketball Season
Space does not permit recounting all the special moments and victories this season as our three seniors and Coach Weber led us to K-State's first men's basketball conference championship in 36 years. I am so grateful and proud of Coach Weber and his staff for the great job they are doing leading our program. When Rodney McGruder, Martavious Irving and Jordan Henriquez graduate this spring - their last two "official" appearances in Bramlage as Wildcat students will have been climbing the ladder to cut down the nets during the Big 12 championship celebration earlier this month and then taking the stage to receive their K-State diplomas in May. The winningest senior class in school history each leaves with a championship ring on one hand and a diploma in the other!
I've spoken before about two of my favorite of Coach Snyder's 16 goals- #3 Unity, and #12 No Self-Limitations. A very special memory for me will always be the volume and intensity of the crowd in the Sprint Center as the K-State Nation roared in support of the second-half comeback against La Salle that fell just a possession short. As you support our coaching staff and student-athletes in continuing the positive trajectory of the program, we thank you very much for being willing to invest your emotions in support of our quest for a model intercollegiate athletics program- including more championships.
K-State is just the third school in Big 12 history, and just the 11th in a BCS conference since 1996 to win the football and men's basketball championships in the same year, and Coach Weber and Coach Snyder are just the second same-school pair to be named Big 12 Coach of the Year in those two sports in the same year. I can't wait for next season(s)! But in the meantime we have lots of important happenings around the department!
K-State Athletics Hall of Fame Update
The 2013 football season will be a memorable one with the grand opening of the West Stadium Center as well as the excitement of eight home games and the raising of a Big 12 championship flag following last year's 11-2 season. It will also mark the rebirth of a very special tradition as we will induct the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013 during the weekend of the Baylor game on October 11-12. Re-engaging the hall of fame process has been an important piece to our department's strategic plan. Kenny Lannou and Casey Scott, two members of our senior leadership team, have spearheaded this process and are leading a well-rounded selection committee. Beginning Monday, public nominations for the Class of 2013 will be accepted as former student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility PRIOR to 2004 are now eligible for nomination. For more information or to submit nominees, contact Kenny at email@example.com.
WSC Construction Appreciation Luncheon
The construction site at Bill Snyder Family Stadium continues to change on a daily basis, and what a sight it is! More and more limestone is going up each day, and the steel framework of the West Stadium Center is complete. Last week, a "topping out" appreciation luncheon was held for all 100-plus construction workers following the completion of the steel installation. Even Coach Snyder stopped by to say a few words of gratitude - click here to watch a short feature on the event. August 30 will be a special night for K-Staters, and the West Stadium Center will be a world-class facility that all Wildcats can be proud of!
Football Season Tickets Remain on Sale
Early ticket sales for the football season have been terrific, with new season tickets orders for our eight-game home schedule well ahead of last year's pace. Be sure and take advantage now while they last and before Friday's Early Bird deadline and receive two free tickets to the April 27 spring game, a commemorative Big 12 Championship coin and $10 off the season ticket handling fee - click here for all of our ticket information.
Equestrian Garners Academic Honors/Big 12 Championships Up Next
Congratulations to 16 members of our No. 4 equestrian team for being named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Team. Nine of those selections, seniors Sam Etsell, Meredith Finch, Katie Haukos, Larissa Laffey and Karen Riley, juniors Jordan Cox, Jesse Johnson and Rachel Webster and sophomore Madison Wayda, all earned first team honors. Coming off two big home wins over ranked opponents, the Cats head to Stillwater this weekend for the Big 12 Championships. Good luck to Coach Maxwell and her squad!
Baseball in Full Swing
We thoroughly enjoyed watching Coach Hill's baseball squad battle back from an early 5-2 deficit Tuesday night to take a big 10-8 win over traditional foe Nebraska. Now it's back to Big 12 play as the 17-8 Cats hit the road for the first time in 19 games for a series at Baylor beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Cats will be looking to win their first two Big 12 series for the first time in league history this weekend after winning two-of-three from West Virginia two weeks ago. The series at Baylor continues Friday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 1 p.m. Catch audio of all three games by clicking here and Saturday's series finale can be seen on Fox College Sports. Come out to Tointon Family Stadium next week for another home game against the Cornhuskers on Tuesday, versus Nebraska-Omaha Wednesday, and then the weekend series against Texas Tech. Good luck to the Bat Cats!
Good Luck to Rowing and Tennis in Sunflower Showdown Match-up(s) Saturday!
The Sunflower Showdown is next for Coach Bietau and the No. 50 ranked tennis team as the Cats look for their fifth straight win in the series on Saturday in Lawrence. And after having a successful week in Texas on the water, the rowing team will look for its third straight win over KU at 10 a.m. Saturday in the annual Kansas Cup at Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City. Good luck to both squads against the Jayhawks.
And, best of luck to both track teams this weekend as squads will be split between the Texas Relays and the ESU Spring Open in Emporia.
Thank you for your continued support. We'll see you in Bramlage tonight for our WNIT matchup with Ball State!