December 15, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
If you want to see someone who loves her job, look no further than K-State Alumni Association President and CEO Amy Button Renz.
Coming from a rich K-State heritage, Button Renz loves K-State and has worked with the Alumni Association since 1977, while she has been in the presidential role since 1994.
While year-round there are exciting events going on through the K-State Alumni Association, perhaps no time is more exciting than right now - bowl time.
"It is one of my favorite parts of my job," Button Renz. "It's fun because it shows the success of our football team, and it's just a great way for K-Staters to get together. It really is a special time and I think that this season, it's nice to see that the players are rewarded with a bowl game. They really worked hard and as the season progressed, obviously, we had a lot of victories."
This year, Button Renz and her staff are preparing for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, as last week it was announced K-State would take on the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
While K-State football will be heading south to compete in its fourth consecutive bowl game, so will the K-State faithful.
"K-Staters are extremely loyal," said Button Renz. "They're very, very proud of Coach Snyder and all that he's accomplished, and I think it's about the family coming together to celebrate. Ever since that first bowl game (1982), when we went to Shreveport, La., people just came out of the woodwork because that was our very first bowl, and then, when Coach Snyder started establishing this tradition, I think going to these bowls is just something that K-Staters are proud of."
For travel made easy, the K-State Alumni Association offers packages for K-Staters to choose from that, depending on the package, includes: travel, hotel, transportation, meals, pep rally seating, tours and a pregame party.
"One of the advantages of traveling with our tour is everything is taken care of," Button Renz explained. "From the minute you step on the plane to fly to the destination, or if you decided to do a land package, when you show up to the hotel everything is taken care of - from the pregame, to the pep rally to the game, people can really go and enjoy themselves and spend time with other K-Staters."
While the first Air/Land package is currently sold out (Button Renz said the 168 seat charter out of Manhattan, Kan., was filled the morning the package became available) there are still land packages available through the K-State Alumni Association travel website.
With more than half of K-State Athletics' allotted tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl already sold, the Wildcats' plan to paint Tempe purple is looking more and more like a reality each passing day.
"The remaining seats are still on the sidelines with other K-State fans and they're really excellent seats, more so than most of the other bowl games that people have been to," said Associate Athletics Director of Ticketing and Fan Strategies Scott Garrett. "The seats for this bowl game are really exceptional. What we encourage is for anyone who is planning on going to the bowl game to purchase their tickets now and order them through us because they're going to help K-State."
The seats K-State is currently selling (click here to check out K-State's seating chart at Sun Devil Stadium) are among the best in the stadium, and promise fans a first-class experience at what could be one of the Wildcats' greatest bowl game matchups.
In K-State football's 117 years, never before has it faced the Michigan Wolverines.
"The most exciting part is playing that somebody that we've never played before, and a traditional power in college football," Garrett said about K-State's upcoming bowl. "To play Michigan, our program doesn't have a lot of chances to play a school like that, somebody that we're not totally familiar with and that has a national following. You're not going to get this opportunity often - who knows when we'll play a team like Michigan again - and it's, from my perspective, a neat opportunity to go and see us compete in a bowl game in that environment."
Of course, among the week's excitement, perhaps a fan favorite is the bowl game pep rally. On Dec. 27, the day before K-State competes in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
"The pep rally, besides the game, is one of the week's highlights," Button Renz said. "I'll never forget the very first Cotton Bowl we went to (1997) and we had 20,000 people at our pep rally. We had no idea that many people would show up. So to see the faces of the players and to watch Coach Snyder walk out and everyone just stand and cheer, it still gives me goose bumps."
For more information on the 25th Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, you can check out the K-State Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Headquarters webpage.