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Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 14

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

I would like to start today by making a few comments regarding this week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships in Kansas City. Big 12 fans should be commended as the atmosphere and crowds at the Sprint Center supporting the best conference in America were incredible! And the nation has taken notice - check out Dennis Dodd's story from CBSSports.com on the strength of our league. I couldn't imagine any other conference having more competitive and thrilling quarterfinal games than we did on Thursday. Our game against Iowa State was played at an extremely high level and it was exciting to see freshmen Marcus Foster and Nigel Johnson, as well as senior Shane Southwell, all have big games.

While we all would have loved to remain in Kansas City for the duration of the conference tournament, we are excited about the prospects of playing in the NCAA tournament. Stay tuned on Sunday as the official NCAA field will be announced on CBS.

Now on to a few updates from around the department:

Coach Steve Bietau Announces Retirement
Earlier this week, Coach Steve Bietau announced his retirement following 30 years as head tennis coach. We are very appreciative of Coach Bietau's three decades of service to Kansas State as he worked tirelessly to build our tennis program. His hard work, patience and dedication helped navigate our program through some difficult times and lead to the realization of the new Mike Goss Tennis Stadium and has positioned us for continued development and success. To help facilitate the next steps and to ensure a smooth transition, Coach Bietau has elected to step away from the program immediately and assistant coach Liz Ullathorne will serve as acting head coach for the remainder of the season. A thorough and comprehensive national search will be conducted to find our next head tennis coach. Click here for our full announcement.

Spring Update
The outside temperatures are steadily reaching spring-like conditions as we continue through the athletic season. It has been a great week for the Bat Cats as Coach Hill and company have won seven straight games after sweeping Iowa in the home opening-series last weekend and beating Omaha on Wednesday to climb back to 8-7 on the year. The crowds at Tointon Family Stadium have been terrific as we progress towards a record-breaking season for attendance. Next home action is this weekend as Northern Colorado is in town for a three-game series beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue tomorrow with a 2 p.m. doubleheader, and all three games can be seen live on K-StateHD.TV.

The track and field squads have a contingent of four student-athletes - Devin Dick (heptathlon) and Kyle Wait (pole vault) from the men's team and Erica Twiss (pentathlon) and Alyx Treasure (high jump) for the women - at this weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Best of luck to these student-athletes, and check k-statesports.com throughout the weekend for updates and results.

In other action this weekend, the tennis team, coming off a big home win against Wichita State on Saturday, is at West Virginia today for the first of three straight road matches. Women's golf will head to Utah on Monday for the two-day BYU Entrada Classic. Finally, I would like to congratulate our sixth-ranked equestrian team on its big home win over No. 9 TCU last Saturday which was also Senior Day.

Record-Setting Pace Continues for FB Ticket Sales
Following another record-setting first day of sales last week, K-State fans have made a statement as we look to sell out Bill Snyder Family Stadium this coming season and run our consecutive sellout streak to 20 games. Fans interested in season tickets are encouraged to contact the ticket office before the priority deadline of April 25. Fans can purchase view level tickets at $200 each, while sideline and south end zone seating in the lower bowl is priced at $320 each. A Young Alumni ticket package is also available at only $200 for K-Staters who received their undergraduate degree since December 2009, while faculty and staff are eligible to purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $255 each. Based on anticipated renewals and new orders that have been placed, North End Zone season tickets are also sold out for new orders. Fans renewing in the North End Zone should place their renewal order prior to the April 25 deadline to retain their seats and take advantage of End Zone Fun Zone 4-pack discounted pricing. Seating location assignments for new season ticket holders, as well as upgrades for existing season ticket holders, will be based on availability and determined through a new online reservation service between May 12 and June 6. The K-State Ticket Office will e-mail log-in information and appointment times, determined in order of athletic department priority points, to all new and renewed season ticket holders following the priority deadline of Friday, April 25. For more information regarding tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.k-statesports.com.

Maui Trip Available to Fans
It may seem like a long time from now, but our men's basketball team will be playing in beautiful Maui next November, and packages are available for fans. Stay at the Westin Maui, the official team hotel, and enjoy the week while supporting your Cats in paradise. Visit www.k-statesportstravel.com or click here for more information.

WBB Search Underway
As you are likely aware, we made the announcement last weekend to make a change in leadership with our women's basketball program. We have a tremendous commitment to success in women's basketball at K-State. We have a championship tradition, including ranking as one of the top-15 winningest programs in women's basketball history, fan support that annually ranks in the top 30 in America and a state-of-the-art Basketball Training Facility that I believe is one of the very best in all of women's college basketball. We are excited about the search and will focus on candidates whose personal values and integrity reflect those of our university and the citizens of the state of Kansas. Our search committee is comprised of myself, senior administrators Jill Shields and Clint Dowdle as well as Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Be Stoney. All three of those individuals are former basketball student-athletes, with two also having coached basketball at the collegiate level, and will provide great perspective during this process. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you may have on our program and the search for our next head coach.

That will do it for today. We look forward to seeing a packed Tointon Family Stadium this weekend!

Go Cats!

John