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Recently in Letters from the AD Category

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 10

Good Afternoon K-State Fans!
 
Today is a very significant day for K-State, and let's start by announcing that our incredible fans and supporters have set a record for total giving to the department for the FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR as well as catapulting Ahearn Fund membership to an unprecedented level!

Thanks to grass-roots support of Ahearn Fund members world-wide, a record $46.4 million was contributed to K-State Athletics in 2013-14, reflecting a jump of 21 percent from the previous year's total of $36.8 million, while the number of K-Staters participating in the Ahearn Fund surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in department history.

Thanks to you, in just five years outright contributions to the department have totaled $143 million, while the $46.4 million amount this year is closing in on quadrupling the amount of $12.7 million raised in 2009.

In addition to our grassroots family base of 10,156 Ahearn Fund donors making gifts beginning at just $50 per year, over the past five years, we have also been fortunate to receive 21 private gifts in excess of $1 million, enabling the department to complete the new $18 million Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center, Mike Goss Tennis Stadium and build momentum towards the department's comprehensive facility improvement plan benefitting all 450 Wildcat student-athletes. On August 30, 2013, doors to the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Stadium, a transformational project and a facility that is an essential step in advancing K-State's competitive future, were officially opened, while plans were unveiled this spring for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan - the Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium Project.

Gifts to the Ahearn Fund are designated for scholarships, sports medicine, academic support, modernization of facilities and other services that directly benefit K-State student-athletes while also funding K-State's margin of excellence through enhancements such as recruiting budgets and coaches salaries. We now boast members from 49 states, and hope that you will join us (if you haven't already!).

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 2

Good Morning K-State Fans!
 
The month of July is upon us, which always means two things: the July 4 holiday filled with food and fun with friends and family, and it also marks the beginning of another fiscal year here at K-State Athletics, Inc.

In my last letter, I shared that for FY14 we will have a balanced budget and achieve a surplus for the fifth straight year. I appreciate our coaches and staff for continuing to make budget-conscious decisions each and every day as well as all of Wildcat Nation for filling our stadiums all year long and participating in the Ahearn Fund.

In keeping with our commitment to transparency, today it is our pleasure to share with you our projected fiscal year 2015 budgeted revenues and expenses, and if you click here you can see both sides of our annual "budget card" - which of course I'll be carrying in my pocket at all times!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 18

Greetings K-State Nation!

This morning I write to you from Dodge City as I get ready to enjoy breakfast at the Winter Livestock Commission Cafe with a loyal group of K-Staters. Assistant AD Lon Floyd and I spent yesterday visiting K-Staters in Scott City and Garden City before I capped off the evening by hopping over to Hutchinson for an awesome Catbacker event. Today, Lon and I will head up to Great Bend for lunch and then down to the Wichita Catbacker dinner. The crowds on this year's tour have been incredible, and it is great to feel the excitement K-State fans have for the upcoming year.

In keeping with our goal of providing The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, we are thrilled to announce later today that Bramlage Coliseum will be dramatically enhanced as a new high-definition Panasonic center-hung video board, six additional LED displays and state-of-the-art innovative lighting and sound systems will be installed this fall in time for the 2014-15 season!

Our staff has done a great job of working with Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon and Williams, Inc. (WJHW), one of the top acoustical consulting and electronic systems design firms in the country, to manage the project, which will begin later this summer and be completed in October.

When you walk into Bramlage next season you will immediately notice the brand new Panasonic HD center-hung videoboard, which will have a display nearly four times larger than the existing video board in Bramlage.

Additional atmosphere video enhancements will come from new LED displays installed above Sections 12-15 on the north end and Section 24 to Section 1 on the south end. These displays will provide additional opportunities for crowd engagement, out of town scores and sponsor integration.

We are equally excited to be installing a brand new best-of-class modern audio sound system, including nearly 100 total loudspeakers, which will utilize the latest amplifier and digital signal processing technology with more than 200,000 watts of amplification. The increased speaker locations will provide for better sound distribution and audio clarity and quality throughout the arena. Finally, a new LED lighting system will offer more versatile and higher quality of output in the arena and allow for special effects during introductions, halftime and miscellaneous recognitions while also reducing our electricity usage and cost in the arena.

The improvements, which will cost approximately $2.4 million, represent the most significant capital investment to the interior of the arena since the addition of loge boxes in 2007. The new videoboards and sound system replace existing ones last renovated in 2000-01. Thanks to our 10,000-plus members of the Ahearn Fund, this project will be paid for by general athletic department gifts and operating revenue without the aid of tax, tuition or general university dollars!

Bramlage already offers one of the best home court advantages in college basketball and these improvements, coupled with the 2012 completion of the $18 million Basketball Training Facility, gives K-State about as good of an overall basketball set-up as you'll find around the country.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 18

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation!

Today is a special day for K-State Athletics as we announced earlier this afternoon the hiring of Grant Robbins, a three-time coach of the year in two conferences who has guided six teams to NCAA Regional appearances, as our new men's golf coach.

Before I go into more detail about Coach Robbins and his family, I want to congratulate the 52 student-athletes who earned their K-State degrees over the weekend. We must never forget that the primary element of a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience is to give our young people the support they need to complete their degree requirements and be successful.

Of the 52 graduates, we awarded many of them with their senior K-State rings during our annual spring graduation reception Friday evening in the West Stadium Center. We will hold a special luncheon on Tuesday for our rowing and track and field team graduates, who were away at conference competition this past weekend.

It was great to meet many family members of our graduates at our annual graduation reception, which included a terrific message from B.J. Finney to his fellow classmates.

And, congratulations to our rowers (third-place finish at Conference USA Championships), track and field athletes (three individual Big 12 titles) and baseball team (walk-off win over Texas on Senior Night) for outstanding performances yesterday!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 11

Good Evening Wildcat Nation!

Let me start by wishing all of the moms in the K-State Family a Happy Mother's Day! I have a great mom back in Charlotte and my wife Mary Lawrence is a wonderful mother to our three children, but this holiday is even more special for the Currie family because it was on Mother's Day, May 10, 2009, that I had my final job interview with President Schulz, Amy Button Renz and Chuck Reagan.

For the AD search, then incoming President Schulz had appointed Amy as chair, and she assembled an excellent committee including Faculty Senate President Dr. Melody LeHew, SGA president Lydia Peele, FAR Dr. Mike Holen, volleyball head coach Suzie Fritz, student-athlete Chris Merriewether and alumni Lee Borck and Kevin Lockett - all ably supported by alumni administrative assistant Lynn Beier. After interviewing in April at the KC airport with the search committee, I was thrilled to receive a call from Amy asking me to come back for a final interview. And, I didn't hesitate when Amy apologized that Mother's Day Sunday was going to be the day. Even with three children ranging from 8 years to four months Mary Lawrence was perfectly understanding of my need to be away - she just said if I was missing Mother's Day I'd better get the job!

It has been an incredible first five years - thanks to the support of Wildcat fans worldwide, the efforts of our student-athletes and coaches and of course the transformational leadership of President Schulz we have made incredible progress towards the K-State Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. We've emerged from a position of fiscal weakness to one of stability and from a period of conference alignment insecurity to a new era which sees the Big 12 as one of the leading leagues in the country. In the meantime we've had some incredible Championship Athletic Performances, including Big 12 team championships, multiple Big 12 and NCAA individual titles and post-season appearances by nearly all our teams, all while producing an outstanding APR and graduation record.

But, this is no time to rest - let's keep building together to deliver a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience and permanently secure K-State's position of strength within the upper echelon of intercollegiate athletics! Thank you for your continued support!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 30

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

Following a busy and exciting spring game weekend we've been back in the office and hard at it this week, starting Monday morning with various meetings and our annual Career Cats luncheon for our junior and senior student-athletes. We'll touch on all of the activities shortly, but first I would like to thank our entire staff and all of Wildcat Nation for their support in making all of the spring game weekend events a huge success.

Special Honorary Coaches Assist with VFC Announcement
It was great to see all of our Golden Cat and Ring of Honor members who were back in town for Saturday's spring football game, and I would like to especially thank former Wildcat greats Terence Newman and Darren Sproles for making the trip "home" for the weekend as special honorary coaches. Our 600-plus Ahearn Fund members in attendance at Friday's Powercat Auction especially enjoyed visiting with some of their favorite Wildcats, including NFL alumni Nick Leckey, Ryan Lilja and Jon McGraw.

It was a tremendous honor for me to be on the field pre-game with Darren, Terence and President Schulz to announce to the 17,000-plus fans in attendance plans for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan - the Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium Project. Among my most enjoyable moments so far at K-State have been when student-athletes and fans react to new announcements and see new plans and videos - much like at the Cotton Bowl pep rally when we announced plans for the West Stadium Center - and in this case on Saturday the unveiling of our next critical athletics facility project. Click here to see our full announcement, watch the unveiling video and our full master plan website.

While more than half of the $65 million in necessary funding has already been secured, it is imperative that Wildcat fans continue to contribute, at any level, and be a part of the Vanier Football Challenge campaign to help K-State remain a national leader in college athletics. The funding plan currently calls for $50 million to be privately funded through philanthropic giving with the remaining $15 million coming from other department revenues. No tax or tuition dollars will be used! Thank you for your continued support!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 26

Wildcat Nation,

Thanks to your commitment to K-State, we have taken incredible steps towards our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program and our goal of providing a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience including completing about $125 million in athletic facility upgrades benefitting all 16 of our sports over the last 24 months.

Every member of the K-State Nation should feel the pride of these improvements and the fact that they have been achieved in a fiscally responsible manner. But we still have work left to do.

You have heard me say before that my two favorite of Coach Snyder's 16 goals are #3 - UNITY and #12 - NO SELF LIMITATIONS. Look what the K-State Nation has accomplished over the past several years by indeed being committed to these principles!

Coach Snyder and his staff have done an extraordinary job of rebuilding our football program over the past five years. Our fans have stepped up too, with the best attendance in our history, highlighted by a current streak of 13 consecutive sell-outs at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. However, we all know that in any competitive environment you are either getting better or getting worse. There really is no standing still and treading water. We have to capture the momentum you have helped create and continue to strengthen the foundation of our program. Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan - a new Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium expansion - is our next major priority, and earlier at today's annual spring football game we announced details in regards to the project. Click here for full project details which include renderings and videos of the project.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 17

Good Afternoon K-State Fans,

It has been several weeks since I last wrote but that's certainly not because of the lack of activity around K-State Athletics! I'll catch up on several interesting recent tidbits, but first let me mention a couple of upcoming events for your planning purposes.

Last Chance to See Petra Niedermayerova Live in Mike Goss Tennis Stadium
Over the past four seasons, Petra Niedermayerova has built a record that perhaps could rank her as K-State's all-time greatest tennis player. Additionally, she has been a model student-athlete off the court, majoring in economics and being recognized as a two-time ITA Academic All-American and the 2013 Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year in women's tennis. She's been all-conference, All-America and holds K-State's career wins records in both singles and doubles.

Senior Day ceremonies start at 11 a.m. Saturday and will be followed by the match vs. the Jayhawks at 12 p.m.  Three pro-set matches of doubles (with Petra and Amina St. Hill on court No. 1) will be followed by the six singles matches. Admission is free. Come out and salute Petra for an incredible K-State career and also bring the kids for USTA/ITA Campus Kids Day.(click here for a special short video)

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 18

Wildcat Nation,

First off, let me offer a special thanks to the many fans who sent notes as we began the search for our new women's basketball coach last Sunday.  The passion and support you continue to show is one of the many reasons we were able to attract such a quality pool of candidates.

As you may know, earlier today we announced that Jeff Mittie, one of the winningest active coaches in Division I, has agreed to become the ninth head women's basketball coach in K-State history. His accolades as a coach speak for themselves - 454 career wins, 15 postseason appearances, nine conference titles in four different leagues, winner of nine conference championships and the reputation of being a top-notch recruiter - and Coach Mittie, his wife Shanna and children Logan, Madison and Jordan are a perfect fit for Manhattan and Kansas State.

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.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 28

Good Morning Wildcat Nation!

It's hard to believe we are already heading into the month of March, which means our basketball, track and field and equestrian teams are gearing up for postseason action. Congratulations to both basketball teams on big road wins this week as the men knocked off Texas Tech in Lubbock and the women picked up a big Sunflower Showdown win over the Jayhawks in Lawrence. Before we dive into our regular department updates, I would like to share with you some exciting news.

President Schulz Announces Largest Private Gift in K-State History
Earlier this morning, President Schulz announced a $60 million gift from the Jack Vanier Family - the largest private donation in Kansas State's history! This historical gift will have a tremendous impact on the entire university community with $40 million benefitting students, faculty, programs and facilities on both the Manhattan and Salina campuses while $20 million of the gift has been designated by the family towards Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan - the North End Zone project - which we announced several weeks ago. The support of the Vanier Family is one of the most consistent factors in the modern history of K-State Athletics and this gift will have a dramatic effect on our ability to get closer to our fundraising goals and the potential beginning of Phase III construction. All K-State coaches and student-athletes join me in expressing our appreciation for Jack, Donna, Marty, John and Mary Vanier. Click here to read the full university announcement on this transformational gift.

From our dedicated fans across the country, who have packed Bramlage and created a 13 game sell-out streak at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, to local Catbacker clubs, $50 annual Ahearn Fund members and transformational gifts like the Vanier's, K-State Family members have come together like never before to provide Wildcat student-athletes a world-class experience and drive momentum towards the vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. Thank you and let's drive on!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 19

Good Morning Wildcat Nation,

Another busy week of competition is ahead of us beginning with two important basketball games tonight as the men host TCU at 8 p.m. inside Bramlage, while the women are on the road and will square off with the Horned Frogs at 7 p.m. in Fort Worth. I hope you can make it out tonight and pack Bramlage with purple as Coach Weber's team continues to fight for positioning in the Big 12 standings as well as an NCAA Tournament berth. The men's game can also be seen live on ESPNU tonight, while be sure and catch the women's game on FOX Sports Southwest, along the K-State Sports Network and online at k-statesport.com.

Before we move along further with additional updates, I would like to report some exciting news about one of our staff members.

Weiberg Named National Fundraiser of the Year
Earlier today, the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) announced its annual award winners and I am pleased that our own Chad Weiberg has been named the 2014 NAADD National Fundraiser of the Year! Chad has done an unbelievable job rebuilding our Ahearn Fund infrastructure while leading our development staff in an effort to personally build relationships with K-Staters world-wide as we continue to seek the resources necessary to reach our goal of providing all of our student-athletes with a world-class experience. I am extremely proud of Chad and our entire staff for their hard work and tireless efforts in our pursuit of becoming a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. Of course, Chad would be the first to say that the true credit always goes to our donors! Click here for our full release, and again, congrats to Chad and the Ahearn staff!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 11

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation!

First off, congratulations to Coach Weber and our men's basketball team on their thrilling win over the No. 7 Jayhawks last night. Thanks to the K-State Nation, the atmosphere at Bramlage Coliseum was incredible, and it was great to see last night's win make just about every national headline as well as the lead on ESPN SportsCenter and FS1's Fox Sports Live throughout the night and into this morning. I am proud of our coaching staff for the great job they did preparing our team and appreciate our student-athletes staying tough in OT to get the win. Of course there is no rest for the weary - here is a tweet from ESPN's Holly Rowe as she spotted Coach Weber at MHK Airport earlier today getting on that 6:10 a.m. American Airlines flight to DFW to hit the recruiting trail!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 3

Wildcat Nation,

Finally!!! Thank you for your patience as we worked to finalize our 2014 football schedule which you will see in its entirety below. With our consecutive home game sellout streak currently at 13 games, we are glad to be able to announce the 2014 schedule so that travel, wedding and vacation plans can now be completed by the K-State faithful. We sincerely appreciate K-State fans for continuing to showcase their passion and support of Wildcat student-athletes, coaches and staff as we progress toward the goal of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. Indeed - all working together - players, coaches, fans, students, staff, we will achieve that goal!

We are excited to host seven home games in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, four of which are against teams that were bowl eligible this past season. Highlighting the home schedule will be the long-anticipated matchup with 2013 BCS National Championship runner-up Auburn of the SEC on Thursday, September 18. Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be the focus of the college football world that evening, and the chance to host the reigning SEC Champion on ESPN's Thursday night platform in what will be one of the best non-conference matchups in the country next season is a terrific and unique opportunity for K-State. An open date leading into the game, as well as the extra two days of rest and preparation before our next home game the following week, provides the perfect opportunity to showcase Manhattan and K-State in one of ESPN's most-watched television windows.

With season ticket holders in 46 states, we certainly understand that a Thursday night game creates some travel challenges. Here's a little background on making a decision such as this - one that is not taken lightly.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 28

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

We have a busy week ahead of us beginning with tonight's key Big 12 men's basketball matchup with Texas Tech, which is set to tipoff at 7 p.m. We hope you can make it out to Bramlage tonight to contribute to the electric atmosphere in the Octagon of Doom that has been a key ingredient in maintaining our great homecourt advantage in the nation's No. 1 RPI conference!

For those who cannot make it tonight, you can watch it throughout the region on the Big 12 Network. Due to President Obama's State of the Union address, those in the Topeka market who normally watch the game on KSNT can see the game on Cox Cable Channel 675. It will also be available on ESPN Full Court, ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN app for mobile devices. The Big 12 Conference notified us that the Presidential address was scheduled well after the television games had been selected and announced. We have been assured that all other markets throughout the state and the region will be carrying tonight's game. Click here for a full listing of Big 12 Network affiliates and viewing information for the game.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 14

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

It has been a few weeks since my last update, and I hope you have managed to stay safe during the recent winter weather that has affected most of the country. It's certainly been warm inside Bramlage Coliseum, and I appreciate the terrific crowds that have played a huge role for both our men's and women's teams.

Coach Weber and the Cats, winners of 10 of their past 11, will host another big game tonight as K-State Athletics Hall of Famer Lon Kruger and his No. 25 Sooners visit Bramlage. The game can be seen nationally at 6 p.m. on ESPN2, while fans can listen to Wyatt and Stan along the K-State Sports Network and FREE online at k-statesports.com.

Coach Patterson and the women's squad will also be in action at 7 p.m. tonight as they face Texas Tech in Lubbock. That game can be seen live on FOX Sports Southwest and heard along the K-State Sports Network and also for FREE online at k-statesports.com.

Let's jump into a few updates from around the department.

Heroic Efforts Honored During Halftime Recognition
Last month I shared with you the story about one of our football fans suffering cardiac arrest at the Oklahoma game and the heroic efforts of nearby fans, staff and emergency personnel who helped save the individual's life. During our recent men's hoops game against Oklahoma State, we recognized both the individual recovering from the heart attack as well as those involved in the rescue effort. It was an emotional and inspirational time for everyone and illustrated how the K-State Family looks out for one another. Click here for a recap of the event that aired on Kansas First News.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 28

Greetings from the Valley of the Sun!

The K-State Nation has now hit the Tempe/Phoenix area in full Purple force as we gear up for tonight's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game with the Michigan Wolverines. Our student-athletes and coaches and support staff have enjoyed a terrific week in the desert as the hospitality provided by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl/Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl organization has been first-class once again.

Yesterday I decided to walk the short distance from the hotel over to the site of our traditional pep rally, and it was a great feeling when I came around the bend and glimpsed the hundreds of cars, RV's and buses streaming into the parking lots. We estimate that as many as 5,000 Wildcat fans crammed into Rawhide's Frontier Hall for a great K-State bowl tradition -- the size and intensity of which is virtually unmatched across college athletics. The Pride of Wildcatland band, Classy Cats and cheerleaders were terrific, as always, and K-State's most famous television alum, ABC's Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, did a great job of welcoming the crowd. Current KSU Foundation Board President and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers delighted the crowd by removing his grey trousers to reveal his favorite bright purple pants! President Schulz, Amy Button Renz, BWW Bowl Executive Director Robert Shelton all spoke prior to the Voice of the Cats Wyatt Thompson introducing Coach Snyder and the team. The inspirational remarks of captains B.J. Finney, Ty Zimmerman, Blake Slaughter, Tyler Lockett and capped off by Olathe senior Tre Walker's rousing exhortations underscored the focus and determination our team has for tonight's matchup.

Our fans continue to amaze me with their loyalty and I know Sun Devil Stadium will be electric later tonight as we look for our first bowl win since 2002.

I'm also proud that 20 members of our football team will take the field tonight as K-State alums as the following players have already completed their undergraduate degrees at K-State: William Cooper, Kip Daily, Laton Dowling, Ethan Hammes, John Hubert, Andre Jackson, Stephen Johnson, Cornelius Lucas, Andre McDonald, Carl Miles, Torell Miller, Dorrian Roberts, TJ Roberts, Tavon Rooks, Robert Rose, Curry Sexton, Blake Slaughter, Keenan Taylor, Tre Walker and Ty Zimmerman. The 20 graduates participating tonight are the second-most of any bowl-bound teams across the country this season, trailing only Alabama.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 19

Dear Wildcat Nation,

At this special time of the year, I would like to wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from both the Currie and K-State Athletics families.

For many of us, in addition to spending time with our friends and families, the holidays are synonymous with K-State bowl games, and I know we are excited to head back to the Valley of the Sun this year. We look forward to seeing a sea of purple in Arizona next week! I am so proud of Coach Snyder and our team for the resiliency and perseverance displayed this season which has culminated with a December 28 matchup in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines, college football's winningest program.

As a reminder, great seats in the official K-State allotment of Sun Devil Stadium are still available, and these locations are among the best of any bowl game. If you haven't made your plans or bought game tickets, be sure and visit k-statesports.com/bowlgame for more information, including pep rally and other bowl week details. There is still time to secure your spot for what will be another exciting postseason bowl experience; and it would make a nice Christmas gift!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 6

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

I trust you are staying warm on this chilly day - it was certainly plenty warm in Bramlage last night, and I would like to start out today by thanking each and every fan who comprised the energetic crowd we had last night. The student section was tremendous and helped our players respond down the stretch for a big 61-58 ESPN2 win over Ole Miss - another victory for our conference in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Big 12 is now 4-2 in the challenge with wins by K-State, Iowa State (Auburn), TCU (Mississippi State) and Texas (Vanderbilt) so pull for our conference brethren in the big games tonight and over the next few days. Click here for highlights of last night's win over Ole Miss.

Coach Andy Kennedy has done a fine job building the Ole Miss program and brought an experienced and undefeated squad into Bramlage last night. Did you read his post-game comments about our crowd?

"I think both teams played extremely hard. We knew that coming in here was going to be a great environment. It is my first time being here, and I cannot say enough about the students here and how they get into it. You guys (K-State) are a little spoiled. We do not get to see that very often. In our league, obviously Kentucky, we are going to play in front of 23,000, and Arkansas in front of 18,000, but not like that. They (fans) were really into it. I thought it made for a very fun, festive college environment."

As this group of young men continues to work hard and improve, that supportive Bramlage atmosphere means so much to Coach Weber and our players. We look forward to seeing you for our next  home game at 7 p.m., Tuesday against South Dakota, followed by a December 15 tilt vs. Troy. Let's keep Bramlage rocking and packed with purple - and we are expecting a great crowd for the December 21 Wichita Wildcat Classic game against 15th-ranked Gonzaga at INTRUST Bank Arena. Tickets are going fast so be sure and reserve your spot now - click here for more information. The K-State Alumni Association and Wichita Catbackers are also holding a pregame party in Wichita prior to the Gonzaga game from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Eaton Venue, which is less than two blocks from the arena. More information about the cost and registration are available by clicking here.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 27

Happy Thanksgiving to the Wildcat Nation!

With so much of our everyday routine consumed by work, sporting events, etc., it's easy to take for granted the real meaningful and priceless things in life - I am thankful for my wonderful wife, Mary Lawrence, our three terrific children, and the opportunity that we have to raise our family here in Manhattan, Kan.  We are glad to have my mom in town for the holiday and looking forward to being off the road for a couple days before we head over to Lawrence on Saturday morning.

Here at K-State we have a lot to be thankful for - a vibrant university with a dynamic president located in one of America's classic college towns; a community that supports its university like no other place in the country; 153 departmental employees all pulling in the same direction towards a common goal of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program; collectively, the best group of head coaches in the country; and last but not least, a group of student-athletes who represent Kansas State University so well and bring the energy and passion with them each day to be the best they can on the playing field, in the classroom and in life.

This past Saturday's game against Oklahoma, our 13th straight football sell-out, capped a historic season as the K-State nation set a new single-season total attendance record of 423,095 and a new average attendance record of 52,887. Even though we came up just a bit short on the scoreboard there was a huge victory in Bill Snyder Family Stadium that I want to tell you about.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 22

Wildcat Nation,

As we move full-speed ahead through this exciting fall semester, I want to thank our fans for their terrific and record-breaking support this fall.

With tomorrow's 11 a.m. game against No. 18 Oklahoma on the horizon -- Senior Day for 27 of our student-athletes -- Wildcat Nation will make history as we will mark not only the 13th consecutive sellout of Bill Snyder Family Stadium dating back to last season, but we will also establish new total and average attendance records for an entire season! The previous total attendance record was 384,654 set in 2002, while the 1999 campaign held the previous record for average attendance at 51,136. With more than 52,000 tickets sold for each contest this season, we will eclipse the 400,000 mark for the first time ever -- thank you!

And one last note on our 27 seniors who will be recognized prior to tomorrow's game - this class will be the first since the 2003 season to qualify for four straight bowl games. We appreciate the hard work, dedication and leadership these student-athletes have provided during their time at K-State!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 8

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

It continues to be a busy time as we head into another exciting weekend with our second straight Friday night basketball doubleheader. Both squads open the regular season this weekend as Coach Patterson and our women's squad host Tennessee State at 5:45 p.m., followed by our men's team with an 8 p.m. start against Northern Colorado. The women's game can be seen live on K-StateHD.TV, while the men's game will air on FOX Sports Kansas City.

Let's get right to the updates this week...

Bring Home the Bacon
K-State students will be afforded a very unique and creative promotional opportunity prior to Friday's women's basketball game as any student who shows their K-State ID will receive five crispy pieces of bacon - cooked by new Ahearn Fund Student-Athlete Performance Table Chef Michael Moyes. The promotion, the idea of our terrific fan experience and sales staff, created a national buzz this week which included trending on Twitter, appearances on ESPN's SportsCenter and NBC's The Dan Patrick Show and stories by ESPN.com, Sporting News, USA Today, National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal. Approximately 300 pounds of bacon will be available, and as a reminder, once a student has scanned into Bramlage, they cannot leave and be re-scanned. So make plans to be at both games, and we look forward to a terrific turnout!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 1

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

November is here, and we are ready to launch with four home contests in the next 60 hours! We'll start off a Wildcat Weekend tonight with a basketball doubleheader as Coach Patterson and our women's team, fresh off an 85-64 win over Washburn on Monday, tip off at 5:45 p.m. against Alaska-Anchorage before Coach Weber and the defending Big 12 Champs host Pittsburg State at 8 p.m.

Tomorrow's football game against Iowa State will be our 11th consecutive sellout at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will serve as our annual Fort Riley Day. There will be a lot of exciting events tied into this year's Fort Riley Day, and maybe even a few surprises, including a joint performance of the K-State, Iowa State and Big Red One marching bands, an appearance from our own Miss Kansas 2013, and much more. Also, a reminder to fans this weekend that seating is not available (and no tickets sold) on the northeast grassy hill due to the placement of the Salute Battery for Fort Riley Day. Let's continue to show the nation, and our FOX Sports 1 national audience, the terrific atmosphere and environment we have here at K-State.

Saturday is also our annual Cats for Cans food drive, so be sure and bring canned food items, or monetary donations, and drop them off to any of our student-athletes who will be walking around the parking lots and also stationed at each of our gate entrances. The goal this year is to raise $15,000 or 6,000 pounds of donated goods to help fight hunger in the Manhattan area.

The competition weekend concludes on Sunday night at 7 p.m. as our volleyball team will host Oklahoma to make up the match that was unfortunately canceled this past Wednesday due to travel difficulties for the Sooners. Please come out Sunday to Ahearn to support the 'Cats. Remember you can bring your football or basketball ticket stubs and get a volleyball ticket for just $3.

While all these activities are taking place in MHK we want to wish the best of luck to our men's and women's cross country teams as they compete in the Big 12 Championships tomorrow morning in Waco, Texas. The men will race first at 10 a.m., followed by the women at 11 a.m. Good luck to both squads and check k-statesports.com tomorrow afternoon for race results.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 24

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

It's Homecoming week at K-State, and campus is already buzzing with activity as many of our 215,000 K-State friends and alumni from across the country return for an exciting weekend. I know Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be rocking Saturday at 2:45 p.m. with our 10th straight sellout and live national broadcast on FOX Sports 1, and that same energy will pack Ahearn Field House at 7:30 p.m. for our volleyball matchup with the Texas Longhorns which will also air live on K-StateHD.TV!  Remember it's a "Wildcat Weekend" so you can bring your football game ticket to Ahearn for a $3 admission to the volleyball game. We also will be honoring and welcoming back our 2003 Big 12 Championship volleyball squad this weekend - they will be in Cat Town before Saturday's football game and will also be recognized during both football and volleyball contests.

Earlier this afternoon I headed to campus for the K-State 150th celebration grand finale on the Anderson lawn and then to the dedication of Mary and Carl Ice Hall in the K-State research park. Click here to read more about Mary and Carl and this important addition to our College of Human Ecology. Also, 27 K-State student-athletes are currently pursuing degrees in this college, and many more will do coursework in Human Ecology during their time in Manhattan.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 11

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

It's been a busy few weeks since I last wrote, and we have a big weekend on tap! Before we head into our updates from around the department, I want to share some important information about our 2014 football schedule.

Last week, UT-San Antonio formally notified us that it intended to cancel the game scheduled in Manhattan on September 27, 2014. Although the contract will require UTSA to pay a cancellation fee of $500,000 (which will be offset if we elect to cancel the return game to UTSA in 2015), the more significant issue, given this late date, is the scarcity of available opponents for our third non-conference game in 2014.

Football scheduling is a complex affair. Generally all institutions want the same thing -- home games. Over the last 10 years the number of teams willing to travel without requiring a return game to their stadium has plummeted. We were glad to get the original UTSA deal done in March 2010 because it provided us two FBS games in MHK and one game in San Antonio.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 12

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

While our student-athletes and coaches are hard at work in class and in practice, I've spent most of the last 24 hours in meetings! Early yesterday morning I utilized our handy American Eagle jet service from MHK to zip down to DFW for an excellent all-day Big 12 AD's meeting before returning on the tail end of the much-needed rainstorm last night.

Today I have attended the KSU Foundation meeting - under foundation president Fred Cholick and current chair Curt Frasier's leadership, the KSU Foundation has made tremendous progress to develop more funding for scholarships, programs and facilities in support of President Schulz's visionary K-State 2025 goals.

Congratulations are in order to Coach Suzie Fritz and our volleyball team on an undefeated 7-0 start to the season following Tuesday night's win over Tulsa in Ahearn Field House. My daughter and I were among the 2,523 folks enjoying the atmosphere inside Ahearn - great enthusiasm from our students, cheerleaders, Classy Cats, band and, of course, our loyal fans. After road trips to California, Arkansas and Missouri, the team will return home September 24 to face the Italian u23 National team, and we encourage you to be there.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 5

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,
 
Let's start off today's letter with K-State volleyball as Coach Fritz and the 'Cats opened the season last weekend by capturing the UNLV Invitational with three straight 3-2 wins over Portland, Cal State Fullerton and the host Runnin' Rebels! Senior Kaitlynn Pelger was named Tournament MVP and Taylor Johnson and Kersten Kober were named to the All-Tournament Team. We start a home-stand tomorrow as the 3-0 Cats host the K-State Invitational in Ahearn Field House with matches against Southeast Missouri State (Friday at 12 p.m.), Southern Illinois (Friday at 7:30 p.m.) and Siena (Saturday at 1 p.m.). Come on out and support the Cats! You can also watch the games live on K-StateHD.TV and listen online at k-statesports.com.

We would like to send a special thanks to the several thousand fans who braved the midday sun to attend last Friday's West Stadium Center dedication and then of course the 53,351 fans who attended Friday night's season opener at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and helped set a record for a home opener (and the second-largest crowd in school history!). The early reviews of the WSC have been overwhelmingly positive, and I very much appreciate the many compliments our staff and the construction team have been getting from fans throughout Wildcatland. Given that we opened the largest construction project in the history of the university exactly one week after taking possession from the contractors with a record crowd and very hot conditions, I thought everything went as smoothly as could be expected - our staff worked hard to prepare - and - our fans were patient! It has been wonderful to see fans pose for pictures before, during and after the game and then throughout this week with the new statue of Coach Snyder, many also taking the time to read the inscriptions on the 3,000 individual donor bricks.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 29

Good Evening K-State Fans!

The clock is ticking down towards a historic day as we prepare for tomorrow morning's 11 a.m. West Stadium Center dedication, our fifth annual K-State Family Reunion and the 7:30 p.m. kick-off of the 2013 season!
 
This morning workers set up a huge stage and video screens outside the main stadium entrance in preparation for the dedication celebration which will include special video presentations and comments from Governor Sam Brownback, President Kirk Schulz and Head Coach Bill Snyder, among others. If you cannot make it to the event, tune into K-StateHD.tv for live coverage, and click here for our full release on the dedication ceremony. Parking in the stadium's west lot opens at 9 a.m. for the event and is free. The ceremony will conclude with a very, very special tribute to Coach Snyder and the entire family - you won't want to miss it!
 
The sold-out matchup between the Wildcats and Bison, which will be broadcast nationally to 90 million households on the new FOX Sports 1 with Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington and Ryan Nece on the call, will cap an exciting day at the stadium. I had the opportunity to catch up with the broadcast team earlier this afternoon - Craig is a 1981 K-State graduate, and we are proud to have him back in town as we help kick off FOX Sports 1's inaugural season. The crew raved about the new broadcast position and its modern amenities and features.
 
Words simply don't do justice to how grateful we all are for the collective efforts of literally thousands of people who worked together to make this facility a reality. This project would not have been possible without the incredible support of fans and the tireless efforts of our architects, AECOM/Heery, construction managers Mortenson/GE Johnson as well as our staff. Over 750,000 hours of labor and craftsmanship have gone into this project. And, when I saw the expressions on the faces of our football student-athletes on Saturday when they walked through the new "Performance Table" dining center, I was reminded again what college athletics is all about!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 27

Good Afternoon K-State Fans!

The fall semester is underway, and we are just three days away from our sold-out football opener against North Dakota State. Coaches Snyder, Fritz and Smith have been hard at work preparing our football, volleyball and cross country teams for season debuts.
 
Before we continue our look at all of the fan experience enhancements at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this season, I want to take a moment to commend our student body and student-athletes. Sunday night's new student convocation and Week of Welcome pep rally was terrific, and the enthusiasm displayed by the 6,000-plus students in attendance has me even more excited about Friday's game. This event has grown annually and is one that has become really special. Seeing all of our students - international, in-state, out-of-state and student-athletes - gather together to officially kick off the semester is another unique aspect of what makes K-State so special. After the pep rally, I know our student section of 9,000-plus strong, plus our band, cheerleaders and Classy Cats, will be rocking on Friday!
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 24

Good Afternoon K-State Fans!

With a record freshman class of K-State students moving into the residence halls this weekend and kickoff just six days away, there is a tremendous energy around MHK! We've been busy preparing for the start of another academic year and are fired up for tomorrow's new student convocation in Bramlage and Week of Welcome pep rally at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The best student section in the Big 12 will be rocking on Friday night -- yesterday we reached the 9,000 mark in student passes sold! This is almost 1,000 more than last year and looking at the student sales number of 5,600 in 2009 shows how far we've come! We are so grateful for the way K-State students support their peers competing on the field and court.

Friday night's 7:30 p.m. sold-out season-opener against North Dakota State, which will air to a national FOX Sports 1 television audience, will be a special night for all K-Staters. I know our fans are excited for the 2013 season and also their first look at the comprehensive improvements of Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan.

Yesterday afternoon I was excited to get a call from Dick Hazen in the state division of facilities management informing me that we had been formally issued our certificate of occupancy for the West Stadium Center. Completing this project in 16 months from groundbreaking to dedication -- and just eight months since the demolition of the old building -- required tremendous teamwork. I want to salute Dick, Diana Hutchinson, Anthony Fadale, Mark Wendland, Brian Love, our state and local fire marshals and all the other inspectors who worked proactively with our construction and design team to keep the project on schedule and ensure our fans and patrons will be enjoying a safe and secure facility.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 24

Good Afternoon K-State Fans!

With a record freshman class of K-State students moving into the residence halls this weekend and kickoff just six days away, there is a tremendous energy around MHK! We've been busy preparing for the start of another academic year and are fired up for tomorrow's new student convocation in Bramlage and Week of Welcome pep rally at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The best student section in the Big 12 will be rocking on Friday night -- yesterday we reached the 9,000 mark in student passes sold! This is almost 1,000 more than last year and looking at the student sales number of 5,600 in 2009 shows how far we've come! We are so grateful for the way K-State students support their peers competing on the field and court.

Friday night's 7:30 p.m. sold-out season-opener against North Dakota State, which will air to a national FOX Sports 1 television audience, will be a special night for all K-Staters. I know our fans are excited for the 2013 season and also their first look at the comprehensive improvements of Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan.

Yesterday afternoon I was excited to get a call from Dick Hazen in the state division of facilities management informing me that we had been formally issued our certificate of occupancy for the West Stadium Center. Completing this project in 16 months from groundbreaking to dedication -- and just eight months since the demolition of the old building -- required tremendous teamwork. I want to salute Dick, Diana Hutchinson, Anthony Fadale, Mark Wendland, Brian Love, our state and local fire marshals and all the other inspectors who worked proactively with our construction and design team to keep the project on schedule and ensure our fans and patrons will be enjoying a safe and secure facility.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 18

Dear K-State Nation:

Earlier this evening at the annual Colbert-Fogler K-State golf fund-raising event, Coach Tim Norris announced that he is retiring as our head men's golf coach effective June 30, 2014.

Coach Norris has done a remarkable job of building our program almost from scratch into one which has won many tournaments, competed in the NCAA's, now has a tremendous facility and has produced two current PGA tour members while maintaining a near perfect academic record.

Tim, Shelley, Ashley and Tyler Norris are a tremendous K-State family and of the utmost integrity.  We have been blessed to have him as our men's golf coach!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 5

Good Afternoon K-State Fans!
 
I pulled back into Manhattan yesterday after being out of town for the last few weeks, and I must say I'm blown away by how much our athletics complex has changed!  Driving along Kimball Avenue from east to west I passed the new Intercollegiate Rowing Center, which is nearing completion, then the resurfaced (finally!) east parking lot and finally the West Stadium Center - amazing progress! After my son and I unpacked the car, I drove back over and toured the WSC - I'll tweet a few pictures for you today.

Now, on to business. In my previous five letters we reported on our progress over the last four years towards our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program and our five core goals.  In keeping with our commitment to transparency today it is our pleasure to share with you our projected fiscal year 2014 budgeted revenues and expenses, and if you click here you can see both sides of our fifth "budget card" which of course I'll be carrying in my pocket at all times!
 
For FY14 we are projecting a balanced budget of $60 million, a $1.95 million increase over last year and a 36 percent increase from our 2010 budget of $44.1 million.

Our largest revenue sources will again be the combined $30.68 million in ticket purchases by our loyal fans and individual contributions by our Ahearn Fund donors, along with our projected Big 12/NCAA revenue share of $21 million. Keep in mind that the Big 12 now has equal sharing of all conference television, bowl and other revenue.  And while our Big 12 revenues have doubled since 2009, that grass-roots support of our fans and donors is still the largest source of support for K-State student-athletes.
 
On the expense side, approximately 57 percent of our budget is in the direct operations of our teams - scholarships, sports medicine, coaching, travel, recruiting, etc.
 
It has become fashionable lately for national critics to question the worth of an athletic scholarship, usually with derisive comments along the lines of "all they get is..." (although our readers who are currently funding their children's tuition or paying down their student loans probably aren't in this camp!) So, you may have asked yourself what exactly is the value of a K-State athletic scholarship?
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 25

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

It's time for the final installment in our five-part series reviewing progress towards our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program which we introduced July 10, 2009, (click here to see that announcement) along with our five core goals of:

A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience
Value to Our University, Community and State
Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance
Championship Level Athletic Performances
The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12

Last Friday we covered Goal No. 4 - Championship Level Athletic Performances. Today we focus on our first, and perhaps most important, goal: A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience.

With all the headlines about the "business" of sports, conference realignment, etc., it is easy for some to forget that at the core of our enterprise is the student-athlete experience. This past year K-State was represented by 458 young people in 16 different sports who hailed from 14 countries, 35 states and were pursuing degrees in seven colleges plus the Graduate School.

When we make decisions or prioritize resource allocation we must always have goal No. 1 in mind and ask ourselves, "What is in the best interest of our student-athletes?"

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 19

Good Morning K-State Nation!

It's time for installment No. 4 in our five-part series reviewing progress towards our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program introduced July 10, 2009, (click here to see that announcement) along with our five core goals of:

A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience
Value to Our University, Community and State
Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance
Championship Level Athletic Performances
The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12

Earlier this week we covered Goal No. 3 - Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance - and today we focus on Goal No. 4 - Championship Level Athletic Performances.

Before we get into the highlights, I want to share how proud I am of our coaches and student-athletes for the success they have achieved over the past four years. Collectively, I truly believe we have the best group of coaches in the country and over 450 student-athletes who are fully committed to achieving success on the field, in the classroom and in life.

Space does not allow including every single athletic achievement since 2009 but here is our best attempt at the highlights. You can visit k-statesports.com to relive every season with stories, stats, photos and videos.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 15

Good Morning K-State Nation!

It's time for installment No. 3 in our five-part series reviewing progress towards our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program introduced July 10, 2009, (click here to see that announcement) along with our five core goals of:

A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience
Value to Our University, Community and State
Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance
Championship Level Athletic Performances
The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12

Last week we covered Goal No. 2 -- Value to the University, Community and State -- and today we focus on Goal No. 3 -- Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Publishing a detailed budget for the upcoming year is an important component of our transparency pledge. We'll continue the tradition after we complete this five-part series this month.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 8

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

I trust everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday and weekend and that you were able to spend some quality time with friends and family.

In last week's letter (click here) we began a review of our progress towards our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program which we introduced on July 10, 2009, (click here to see that announcement) along with our five core goals of:
  • A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience
  • Value to Our University, Community and State
  • Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance
  • Championship Level Athletic Performances
  • The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12

Today we review goal No. 2 - Value to the University, Community and State.

Here are a few highlights:

Economic Impact
Over $125 million in new and improved facility projects underway and/or completed in the last four years means lots of work for local sub-contractors and materials suppliers as well as MHK hotels, restaurants and stores filled with out-of-town contractors and workers.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 1

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

Does it seem to you that June came and went in a blink of an eye? It sure does to me, and I realized over the weekend I haven't written to you since June 3.  Since then our entire staff has been working at a tremendous pace as we brought fiscal year 2013 to a successful close yesterday.

June highlights included the finest baseball team in K-State history advancing to within two 9th-inning runs of our first-ever College World Series trip.  Coach Brad Hill and his team have represented K-State so well and with Major League draft picks Ross Kivett and Shane Conlon announcing their intentions to return to K-State next year, along with many other strong leaders and our fine young pitching staff, we are very optimistic for another great year in 2014.  It was extremely gratifying not just to see the Manhattan community pack Tointon Family Stadium for our three-win NCAA regional sweep, but also our fans realize and embrace how much fun NCAA baseball can be.  When we eventually advance to the CWS I know K-Staters will turn Omaha Purple, just as fans who watched the title series between Mississippi State and UCLA saw the Bulldog faithful paint the ballpark maroon.

Coach Cliff Rovelto's track team also advanced to the NCAA Championships where several Cats scored points, including Erik Kynard, who concluded his spectacular K-State career with a second-place finish in the high jump to go along with his two previous NCAA titles.  Erik plans to join many other world-class post-graduate track athletes training in MHK and has already claimed a USA Championship to advance to this summer's World Championships in Russia.

Click here for another look at the "Year of the Wildcat!"

A Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 3

Good Evening K-State Nation!

Wow! What an incredible game we witnessed last night at Tointon Family Stadium as the 'Cats fought back from an early 3-0 deficit to beat Arkansas, 4-3, and advance for the first time ever to an NCAA Super Regional. Big 12 Coach of the Year Brad Hill's squad will depart later this week for a best-of-three series at Oregon State, the No. 3 national seed, starting Friday or Saturday. The winner will claim one of eight spots in the 2013 College World Series in Omaha, beginning June 15. Stay tuned later tonight for ticket and ESPN coverage for this coming weekend's action.

Meanwhile, while Manhattan was making history hosting its first-ever NCAA Baseball Regional, Erik Kynard set a new K-State high jump record with a leap of 7-8.75 in the prestigious Prefontaine Classic on Saturday!

There will be lots of K-State Purple in Oregon this weekend as in addition to baseball in Corvallis, Coach Cliff Rovelto is taking an outstanding contingent to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, including Erica Twiss (400m hurdles), Martina Tresch (steeplechase), Kyle Wait (pole vault), Jharyl Bowry (long jump), our men's 4x100 relay team, decathletes Tomas Kirielius and Reinis Kregers and of course the reigning NCAA high jump champ in Kynard. Click here for ticket and coverage information.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 21

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,
 
First, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Moore, Okla., as they deal with the aftermath of yesterday afternoon's terrible storms, especially the parents who have lost or are missing young children from the schools hit by the tornadoes. Our baseball team was en route to its hotel in OKC in advance of the Big 12 Championship during the storm, and we were relieved to learn that they arrived safely. I also traded text messages late last night with Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione and then our Big 12 ADs visited by phone this morning with conference officials and the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association regarding the status of this week's tournament. Tim Brassfield, Executive Director of the All-Sports Association, was very appreciative of the support and sensitivity to the situation displayed by our conference staff and coaches and shared with us the strong desire from his fellow Oklahoma City leaders that the championship continue to be played this weekend. It was then determined that the tournament be delayed one day and proceed with an altered schedule beginning Thursday. Click here for the conference's full release with an updated schedule of games.
 
To have such a tragic occurrence come on the heels of a wonderful Wildcat weekend is indeed humbling, but I do want to congratulate Coach Brad Hill and our Big 12 Champion baseball team following a title-clinching series win over Oklahoma this past weekend. And hats off to the 7,600-plus fans that attended the series - Friday night's atmosphere during our dramatic walk-off win was special. We are also in position to potentially host a NCAA Regional here in Manhattan May 31-June 3. Stay tuned for more information and tune into the NCAA selection show on ESPNU next Monday at 11 a.m. In the meantime, click here to watch our special Big 12 Champion baseball video.
 
Also today in Oklahoma City, the conference announced postseason honors and awards for baseball with a total of seven players being named First Team All-Big 12 as well as Wildcat picks for Coach of the Year (Brad Hill), Player of the Year (Ross Kivett), Freshman of the Year (Jake Matthys) and Scholar Athlete of the Year (Jared King) --- which now gives us three Big 12 Scholar Athletes this year! Click here for our full release on the awards.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 4

Today's letter is being completed on a 7 a.m. flight to DFW after I had the privilege last night of witnessing K-State's gritty 3-2 comeback baseball win over the Longhorns in Austin. Right up the road in Waco on Friday, freshman hammer thrower Sara Savatovic won the Big 12 championship with a 64-foot toss which also re-establishes the Serbian national record she already held! You can follow the track championships on www.kstatesports.com and www.big12sports.com as action heats up with several Wildcats in contention and you can also catch the free audio feed for the baseball game at 2 p.m.

Also competing for the Big 12 title beginning this morning at 9:40 a.m. will be our rowing team in Kansas City. Good luck to all the K-State student-athletes in action this weekend!

It has been a busy and productive week, but I am definitely ready for my family to pick me up later this morning after American Eagle brings me into MHK on the 10:45 a.m. arrival. Here are a few highlights from my week on the road.

We started our Big 12 meetings on Tuesday in Phoenix, but I flew out of MHK through DFW into Tucson on Monday afternoon to see Arizona's nearly-completed football center and end zone expansion. My good friend and Arizona AD Greg Byrne gave me a comprehensive tour of their impressive facility, which is being built by Mortenson -- the same company that is teaming with GE Johnson to construct the West Stadium Center. Additionally, the UA building was designed by Heery, the co-designer of the WSC along with Kansas City's AECOM. It is always good to benchmark ourselves with our competition and get ideas for future phases of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 24

Good Evening K-State Nation,

It's been a beautiful day in Kansas as Senior Associate AD Chad Weiberg and I made the drive down to Wichita to a luncheon with over 100 K-Staters at Koch Industries. Among the many in attendance were recent Wildcat student-athlete graduates Victor Ojeleye (basketball) and Daniel Dellasega (baseball) who are among the many financial analysts, engineers and other professionals at Koch, which is annually one of the largest recruiters of K-State graduates.

We have now made our way over to Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson to watch final round action of the Big 12 Men's Golf Championship. The men's golf squad has endured some tough weather conditions on the course this week, but the sun is out today as all nine teams wrap up play. It has been a pleasure serving as the host institution at this week's tournament, and I appreciate all our staff, including Cole Walker (operations), Mindy Hoffman (athletic training) and Kenny Lannou and Jesse Piper (media relations/communications), who helped make the event run smoothly amidst the weather delays - including yesterday's snow and ice storm! Next year Wichita State will be the host institution for the 2014 NCAA Men's Championship here, so golf enthusiasts should make plans to watch the nation's best collegiate golfers right here at Prairie Dunes.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 10

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

I trust you are managing the wild swings of weather we are experiencing, but we certainly are all grateful for the moisture that means so much to our agricultural community here in the state of Kansas. Speaking of that, congratulations to Coach Hill and our baseball team for overcoming not just rain and plummeting temperatures last night but also a 6-1 Wichita State lead in the 8th inning. It was a thrill to watch the 'Cats score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and then the game-winner in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Shockers 7-6 and improve to 24-10 on the year, currently the second-best overall win total in the Big 12. Despite the weather of the last two months our team has not missed a single home game, thanks in part to the hard work of our game operations staff and new full field AstroTurf infill surface we installed two years ago at Tointon Family Stadium - another way your Ahearn gifts and ticket purchases directly impact the student-athlete experience and K-State's ability to compete. We especially appreciate the fans and ushers who braved the soggy weather to support the squad to the end!

This past weekend I journeyed to Atlanta for various AD meetings surrounding the men's Final Four on Friday and Saturday before making it back to MHK on American Eagle Sunday just in time to catch the third game of our baseball series sweep of Texas Tech. On Saturday morning I attended a very interesting and frank discussion with NCAA President Mark Emmert along with about 90 other AD's and commissioners. Clearly there is a feeling among many AD's nationally that they have been somewhat purposely detached from the national policy-making process over the last few years. I am again reminded how fortunate we are to have an inclusive and communicative leader here at K-State in our President Kirk Schulz - my fellow AD's around the country are very glad that President Schulz is now becoming involved at the highest level as a member of the NCAA (and Big 12) Board of Directors' Executive Committee! I also enjoyed being able to sit at the breakfast table next to my good friend and colleague, Wichita State AD Eric Sexton - congratulations to the Shockers on a great NCAA run.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 28

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.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 20

Happy March Madness!

First off, I want to congratulate Big 12 Coach of the Year Bruce Weber and our men's basketball team on their Big 12 Championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament as well as Coach Patterson and our women's team on persevering and earning a bid to the WNIT. Both teams will be playing this week in our own backyard -- we hope to see you Thursday night at Bramlage for the 7 p.m. WNIT battle with Texas Southern and then Friday afternoon at the Sprint Center in Kansas City for our NCAA Second Round matchup at 2:10 p.m. against either La Salle or Boise State.

I would like to thank our fans for both their patience and persistence in securing their seats in the Sprint Center for what is a very hot and tough ticket in Kansas City this weekend. For those in the area, with or without tickets to the tournament, be sure and come to the Power and Light District Friday at 12:15 p.m. for a pregame pep rally!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 5

Can you believe it is March 5? Time flies when you are having fun, and having our men's basketball team ranked ninth and battling for a Big 12 title in the last week of the season definitely qualifies as fun! Tonight's 7 p.m. game against TCU is very special as the winningest senior class in K-State history - Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving - will take to the court for their final game in Bramlage Coliseum. Please arrive early to salute these seniors and their families! A limited number of general admission tickets remain and can be purchased by clicking here, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the Bramlage ticket office.

Before we get to a few other departmental updates we have important breaking news regarding our 2013 football schedule to bring to your attention.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 18

In just a few hours our 13th-ranked men's basketball team will host Bob Huggins and West Virginia here in the Octagon of Doom on ESPN's Big Monday national stage. Tip time at Bramlage is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT, and we are anticipating another packed house and electric atmosphere. Congratulations also to Angel Rodriguez for being named Big 12 Player of the Week!

This past weekend was full of competition and exciting activities here on campus beginning with Thursday's kickoff event for the nine-month celebration of K-State's 150th anniversary. It was great to see the thousands of K-Staters inside Ahearn Field House on Thursday walking through all of the exhibits while enjoying a classic K-State tradition - Call Hall ice cream. On Friday evening more than 800 K-Staters from all generations attended the sold-out "Gala 150" in the Hilton Garden Inn's first-class banquet center. Congratulations and thanks to all the 150th committee members who have worked so hard to plan this special celebration period, including Jackie Hartman and Megan Umscheid in the President's office, who are spearheading the effort.

My Saturday started with a 9:00 a.m. visit and question-and-answer session with our nationally recognized Alumni Association's Board of Directors. Our Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Lindsey Babcock accompanied me and did a great job of explaining a number of national issues. After a tour of the BTF and WSC with a couple special guests, at 11 a.m. we held our third facility groundbreaking in the last 24 months with a ceremony formally initiating construction on our new Intercollegiate Rowing Center! As we continue to strive toward our goal of a model intercollegiate athletics program, the IRC will dramatically enhance the experience of our 90-plus female rowing student-athletes. The IRC's location close to our Academic Learning Center and the new Student-Athlete Performance Table located in the West Stadium Center will help maximize the efficiency of our student-athletes. The IRC, which is being funded privately through Ahearn Fund contributions and athletics department revenue without the aid of tax, tuition or general university dollars, will include two state-of-the-art indoor rowing tanks, a new locker room and erg room with more than 40 rowing performance machines and office space for the coaching staff. Highlights of the ceremony were the incredibly grateful comments from team captains Aly Bronder and Adria Ley as well as seeing the excitement in the crowd of approximately 200, including many current and former rowers and their parents. Click here to read our full release and see the groundbreaking video.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 6

Good Morning K-State Nation,

National Signing Day is underway with faxes already rolling into the Vanier Complex as Coach Snyder welcomes the newest members of the Wildcat football program. Check k-statesports.com all morning for up-to-date signee bios and videos, and be sure to watch Coach Snyder's 2 p.m. Signing Day press conference live on K-StateHD.TV.

Last night Coach Weber's 13th-ranked squad captured another Big 12 road win at Texas Tech to improve to 18-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big 12, our best nine-game start in conference play since Michael Beasley wore a Wildcat uniform in 2007-08. And tonight our women's squad, coming off a tough double-overtime game against KU on Saturday, hosts Oklahoma in Bramlage at 7 p.m. The game can also be seen on Fox Sports Midwest and also world-wide on K-StateHD.TV!

Big News for a Key Department Leader
In case you missed it, here is a link to yesterday's national announcement that Reid Sigmon, our Senior Associate AD/COO, has been named the Chief Financial Officer for the new college football playoff and national championship organization. In his new role, which will begin in April 22, Reid will join Executive Director Bill Hancock in the group's new headquarters in Dallas. He will bring valuable on-campus perspective into what makes a post-season experience special for student-athletes, coaches and institutional fans as well as credibility and common-sense to the new era of post-season football including the championship game and the new semifinals and elite bowl placement system.

While Reid's daily presence will be missed dearly, I am very proud and excited for him to have this transformational opportunity. Reid was our first hire, arriving at K-State in July 2009 after directing the Tampa Super Bowl organizing committee. We simply cannot overestimate the impact he has had on the athletics program's re-organization and fiscal growth from a forecasted $2 million operating deficit four years ago to one now recognized nationally as a model of fiscal stability with a $59 million budget this year along with $100 million in ongoing athletic facility upgrades. Thanks to Reid we have a tremendous senior staff that will continue great leadership and support for our programs.

As I discussed in my letter last week, with success comes the fact that our people, both from an administrative and coaching standpoint, are noticed by others around the country for the great work they are doing in Manhattan, and, in turn, often are targeted by other organizations or programs. This is a compliment to K-State, our student-athletes, and fans, and further evidence of the progress being made towards our vision of being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 31

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.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 21

It was a great K-State weekend with big basketball wins over Oklahoma and TCU, respectively, exciting record-breaking track performances in Ahearn Field House and a number of tennis victories for the Wildcat netters!

Today's holiday honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has special significance for K-State. As most K-Staters are aware, on January 19, 1968, Ahearn Field House was the site of Dr. King's last campus address prior to his assassination in Memphis.

Since arriving in Manhattan I've also learned that it was on the K-State football team that Harold Robinson in 1949 became the first African-American in the Big Seven Conference to receive an athletic scholarship, while Manhattan native Earl Woods, the late father of professional golfer Tiger Woods, later became the first African-American baseball player in the conference. Click here to read an excellent article from K-State's Division of Communication and Marketing about K-State's earliest African-American students.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and K-State is proud to have the most diverse student population in our history as well as the highest African-American student population of any four-year institution in the state of Kansas.

K-State's Office of Multicultural Programs and Diversity, led by Dr. Myra Gordon, provides terrific leadership in building an inclusive campus climate that fosters mutual understanding among diverse groups. Click here for more information on the university's multicultural programs.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 10

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and is off and running with positive New Year's resolutions for 2013! After arriving back in Manhattan last Friday from Phoenix, we put in a full and triumphant day at Bramlage Coliseum Saturday with a great men's victory over then No. 22 Oklahoma State followed by a thrilling buzzer-beating win for the women over TCU. Both games featured spirited crowd support including a valiant alumni pep band, filling in for the Pride students who were still on their journey back from the Fiesta Bowl after a side trip to the Grand Canyon.

Before I go any further let me again thank the entire Wildcat Nation for a tremendous turnout in Arizona for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. With an estimated 20,000-plus in attendance at our pep rally inside Chase Field and more than 40,000 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium for the game, you once again made a statement to the nation that K-State fans are the best in college football. The entire Fiesta Bowl staff, in addition to national and local Arizona media that attended both events, were blown away with the passion of our fans and how the Valley of the Sun was painted purple! Our alumni association, led by Amy Button Renz, once again set the national standard!

It was awesome to have ABC television star and K-State grad Eric Stonestreet in attendance at our pep rally, and I enjoyed hearing President Schulz's remarks on the progress towards K-State 2025. President Schulz also debuted an awesome video on upcoming campus improvements. Click here to see the video and learn more about these exciting steps forward as K-State heads towards the ranks of the top 50 public universities.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 29

Greetings from the Valley of the Sun! I have just returned to the hotel here in Scottsdale after attending this morning's excellent FCA breakfast with several members of our football team and staff. Former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna gave an inspirational address to a crowd of 1,200 local high school students, families and fans. As always, K-State was represented in a first-class manner as Coach Snyder, Collin Klein and Tre Walker took the stage and shared great comments.

It was good to be seated on the team plane yesterday among some of the 17 seniors (out of 27 total) who have already completed their K-State degree! Several Fiesta Bowl board members commented to me how well our university was represented as our team emerged from the plane in their grey slacks, ties and blazers. I am grateful to Coach Snyder, his staff and our captains for the leadership they provide.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 16

Good morning, K-State Nation!
 
It's been a wild couple of weeks since I last wrote to you! I recently attended my sixth banquet/award ceremony in the last 11 days, (not counting the K-State volleyball banquet, which I hated to miss and sort of attended in the form of a videotaped address) but I never get tired of seeing K-Staters recognized on the big stage.

The awards odyssey all began a week ago when we traveled to New York to see Mark Simoneau honored at the National Football Foundation dinner for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame before returning to MHK for 24 hours, when our family watched Collin Klein on TV at the Home Depot CFB Awards show in Orlando, Fla.

Friday saw an early morning flight on American Eagle out of MHK connecting to Baltimore for the very special Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award ceremony, where Collin gave a tremendous acceptance speech. Attendees and speakers included Coach Snyder, Colts legends and Unitas' teammates Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, Len Moore and Tom Matte who joined John Unitas Jr. and other family members for the evening. Click to watch K-State videographer Preston Koerner's highlights. I even was able to keep up with Collin's father, Doug, on a four-mile jog through Baltimore's harbor area that afternoon.

Saturday we also were able to watch a Wildcat basketball victory over George Washington at a nearby restaurant on 42nd Street before the Heisman presentation in New York City. That was then followed by a transcontinental American Airlines flight to California for Sunday night's Lott IMPACT Trophy presentation, where Arthur Brown was honored as one of four finalists for that prestigious award before a live FOX television audience. Condelezza Rice gave an inspirational keynote address, and Arthur did a great job in his FOX interviews and comments. Watching the pride on the faces of his parents, Arthur Sr. and Lelonnie, as Arthur joined Notre Dame's Manti T'eo and Chase Thomas of Stanford on the stage made the long trip completely worthwhile.

After spending Monday in the office it was up and back to Chicago on Tuesday (again out of MHK on American Eagle) where President Schulz received the CASE Chief Executive Leadership award in front of a packed banquet hall including K-State Alumni CEO Amy Button Renz and luncheon keynote speaker Mike Eruzione. Both athletically and academically K-State is surging toward the goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 9

Good Evening Wildcat Nation,

It's going to be a busy K-State sports weekend and after traveling this week I'm heading back to MHK on the afternoon American Eagle flight from DFW in time to make it to Bramlage for tonight's men's and women's home season-opening basketball doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.! Both Coach Weber's inaugural K-State team and Coach Patterson's 17th squad are coming off good exhibition victories and are ready to get the "real" games started against Idaho State and North Dakota, respectively.

Tomorrow is another huge day for Coach Fritz's No. 17 ranked volleyball squad who will host TCU Saturday at 3 p.m. in Ahearn Field House before Coach Snyder's charges put their No. 2 BCS ranking on the line vs. TCU in Fort Worth at 6 p.m. in front of another national FOX broadcast.

Sunday afternoon we'll be back in Bramlage for Wildcat women's basketball action against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 2 p.m. Then on Monday and Tuesday Bramlage hosts two nights of doubleheader Pre-Season NIT action beginning with the K-State vs. Lamar at 7 p.m. and North Texas vs. Alabama Huntsville at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday. Lamar is coming off an NCAA tournament appearance last year, while UAH advanced to the Elite Eight of the Division II tournament so please come early and be loud and help give the 'Cats the Octagon of Doom home court advantage you've made famous throughout college basketball!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 2

Good Morning Wildcat Nation!

It's another big weekend in the Little Apple for our university, community and second-ranked football program as we welcome ABC/ESPN's "Saturday Night Football" to town to nationally televise our contest against No. 24 Oklahoma State. November is a crazy-busy month for our staff (and our fans!!) as our fall sports overlap with the launch of men's and women's basketball. There are also extra logistics and planning to prepare for likely post-season play for football and volleyball, while of course we continue with multiple projects as part of our $100 million in athletic facility improvements.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 27

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

It's Homecoming weekend, and we are already enjoying seeing K-State alumni rolling in for a full weekend of activities, which we'll cover in greater detail later in this letter.  But first, let's all wish K-State's men's and women's cross country teams good luck in our first Big 12 Championship of the year, tomorrow morning in Austin.
 
I do want to take a quick moment to look back at our victorious trip to West Virginia last weekend, primarily because of the numerous letters and notes I have received from our fans about how well they were treated by the host fans of the Big 12's newest member institution.  We salute President Jim Clements and AD Oliver Luck for establishing a high level of sportsmanship expectation and tone.  And, we continue to appreciate the great job K-State fans are doing to set the example for all of college athletics in how we welcome our visiting fans here at Bill Snyder Family Stadium with "The Best Fan Experience in Big 12."
 
And, it was a tremendous performance on and off the field in Milan-Puskar Stadium, with K-Staters from 22 states attending the pre-game alumni function (click here for additional alumni functions on the road) and approximately 3,500-4,000 Wildcat fans at the game, all wearing purple I might add! Thanks for your passion for the Cats!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 6

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

Today is a historic day for K-State Athletics.  It is already a huge Wildcat weekend with our No. 7 equestrian team getting the festivities started with a Big 12 battle with Baylor this morning at Timbercreek Stables at 10 a.m.  Tomorrow we'll have the nationally-televised football edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against the Jayhawks at 11 a.m. and the huge 7 p.m. Big 12 volleyball battle with Texas in Ahearn between two Top 15 teams.

And this afternoon we will have a very special and significant event as we dedicate our new state-of-the-art $18 million Basketball Training Facility for our men's and women's teams.  We are incredibly grateful to all the Ahearn Fund members who have made this completely privately funded project possible. Coupled with our tremendous home court advantage and awesome student section in Bramlage, we believe that our basketball facility environment is now as good as anyone in the country.

Our basketball student-athletes will get the first tour of their new facility early this afternoon before an invitation-only event and program wraps up the dedication.  Over the next six weeks we will also hold a public open house so that all of our great fans can see firsthand this gorgeous facility.  We appreciate the hard work of our project architects at Populous, construction manager MW Builders and members of our athletics staff in making sure this facility - to the very finest detail - is top-notch and one of the best in the country.  In the meantime, be sure and tune in to K-StateHD.TV this evening at 5:45 p.m. and watch the dedication program live.  Also check back soon for a video tour and let us know what you think!

Coach Snyder's goal No. 12 is "No Self Limitations."  Truly the Basketball Training Facility represents what can happen when all the elements of the K-State Nation come together and determine that we will indeed be a model intercollegiate athletics program!  We continue to support President Schulz's leadership and the visionary K-State 2025 program of becoming a Top 50 public research institution.  With our terrific university leadership team, faculty and staff and the support of K-Staters across the globe, K-State students will continue to have one of the best college experiences in the country!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 21

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation!

It's time for Big 12 Conference play as both our football and volleyball programs are now entering league action. Coach Fritz's No. 11 volleyball squad is off to a 12-1 start and will host Nebraska-Omaha tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Ahearn before welcoming West Virginia next Thursday night, September 27, for the Mountaineer's first-ever Big 12 contest in Manhattan. Let's be sure and pack the house to show our visitors from Morgantown what Big 12 volleyball is all about!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 14

Good Morning K-State Nation!
 
What is shaping up to be a beautiful K-State weekend was kick-started last night as K-State Volleyball starting off the Golden Hurricane Classic with a sweep over host Tulsa to improve to 10-0 on the season.  Congratulations to Coach Fritz and the team as the 19th-ranked 'Cats continue the best start in school history!  Next up is a big test against 10th-ranked Minnesota this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.  You can watch the Tulsa video feed on K-StateHD.TV or tune into SportsRadio 1350 to follow the Cats!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 7

Good Morning K-State Nation!

Today's beautiful MHK sunrise was preceded by a 6:52 a.m. text message from President Schulz informing me that the Big 12 Board of Directors has approved our new long-term ESPN/FOX contract for all 10 members! President Schulz, Commissioner Bowlsby and the entire Big 12 family have done a great job throughout this process. We emerge with a brighter conference future than ever before, while Big 12 student-athletes will receive unprecedented national exposure with this new 13-year agreement. Click here to read the official conference release and our statement.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 30

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!
 
Another fall semester is underway - it's great to see the students back on campus and the buzz they create around town.  We've had a busy two weeks which kicked off with more than 5,000 students in attendance last Sunday at the annual Week of Welcome pep rally at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.  Our student body certainly is energized and eager for the 2012-13 year, and we know that student section will be rocking Saturday night as we are nearing 8,000 student passes sold for this football season, a number that has steadily increased since 2009.
 
Also, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby made a trip to Manhattan last Friday to visit campus and meet with many university and athletic staff members and personnel, and our 21st-ranked volleyball team opened its season with a three-game sweep at the Varney's Invitational in front of terrific crowds at Ahearn Field House.  As we head into another busy weekend with our football, volleyball and cross country teams all in action, here are some additional details from the latest happenings in the department.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 13

Good Morning K-State Nation!
 
Welcome (back) to K-State and the land of Big Cranes! Although it has been a little while since I last wrote it is not for a lack of activity and action around the K-State Nation.  And, with our home football opener just 19 days away, let's get caught up on current happenings here in Manhattan and around the world.

Olympic Silver for Rising Senior Erik Kynard
Rising senior and back-to-back NCAA outdoor champion Erik Kynard put an exclamation point on the world in "World -Class Student-Athlete Experience" last Wednesday in London as he captured the silver medal in the high jump at the XXX Olympic Games.  I joined a boisterous group of K-State staffers in the Legends Room in Bramlage that afternoon to watch the jump competition live via the web as SID David Wiechmann tracked the scores and competition on an "old fashioned" white board.  It was just awesome to see Erik and then the frequent camera shots of him conferring with our head coach, Cliff Rovelto, who sat trackside with his wife and track operations director Karol along with former K-State heptathlete Austra Skujyte, who finished fifth competing for her home country of Lithuania.  K-State track is helping to lead our quest for a model intercollegiate athletics program, and we are proud of all the K-Staters who represented their countries in London.  And, Coach Rovelto not only represented K-State as Erik's coach but also served as the coach for the other two U.S. high jumpers who advanced to the medal round! Congrats to Erik and Coach Rovelto, along with the five other current or former Wildcats - Skujyte, Darius Draudvila (Lithuania), Korene Hinds (Jamaica), Jeffrey Julmis (Haiti) and Beverly Ramos (Puerto Rico) -- who participated for their respective countries in London.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 5

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!
 
I trust you enjoyed a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.  Our family enjoyed a full day of activities here in Manhattan capped off by some incredible fireworks displays around town!
 
Supposedly the summer used to be a time when things slow down, but here at K-State we have a great deal of action on-going about which I want to bring you up to speed.  As I pulled into the parking lot this morning, various excavators, back-hoes and dump-trucks were already prowling the site of the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Speaking of the West Stadium Center, we are humbled to announce that K-Staters have responded to the $5 million anonymous challenge pledge announced earlier this spring, matching and exceeding that amount, now pushing total funds committed to the project to over $53 million towards the total goal of $75 million!
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 7

Good Morning K-State Nation!

While I spend most of this week traveling around the country visiting with donors, making a stop in Des Moines for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and checking out two football stadiums with our construction team, exciting progress is being made at home in MHK.
 
Our staff in Bramlage and the Vanier Complex was greeted with sounds from heavy equipment on Tuesday as the construction pace picked up on the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium! Work is beginning on the north end of the construction site to our new "TV Land" area, which will be completed prior to the 2012 season. All power, utilities and fiber connectivity are being relocated to the new area and will be the location for television broadcast trucks, satellite uplinks and of course, our K-StateHD.TV production vehicle.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 3

Good Evening K-State Nation!

Today's update comes to you live from the beautiful new Great Bend (KS) Sports Complex where the 11U Titans are enjoying some tournament baseball, about to battle the Central Kansas Hornets for the title!
 
Before Sunday rolls into Monday let's preview the coming week and also look back at a few highlights from the last several days.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 22

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

I trust your week is off to a fast start and that you had a great weekend! I spent mine enjoying six "11U Titans" baseball games in Olathe and Shawnee - my son and I saw lots of K-State Alumni Association license plates, Purple and Powercats as we drove around the greater KC area. We are always grateful for our fans showing the pride and wearing the Purple proudly!

Speaking of baseball, Coach Hill's charges did a great job of finishing the regular season strong - winning four out of their last six Big 12 games (over KU and at Texas Tech) to play their way into the conference tournament for the sixth straight year. Congratulations to Joe Flattery for throwing K-State's first complete game since A.J. Morris shut down Rice in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Click here for ticket information for the tournament, including our opening-round matchup with Baylor at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 4

Good evening K-State Nation!
 
After a very productive set of Big 12 meetings and Fiesta Bowl events in Phoenix, it is great to see the evening American Eagle jet flight to MHK listed as "on-time" on the "big board" here at DFW Airport. I am ready to get home and see my family!
 
This has been a historic day for the Big 12 as current Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby was introduced earlier this morning as our new conference commissioner. I believe this is a tremendous coup for the Big 12 and am grateful for the leadership and diligence shown by President Schulz, Oklahoma State President and Big 12 Chairman Burns Hargis and the other selection committee members in making it happen.
 
Bob Bowlsby is one of the most respected athletics leaders in the country and has played an instrumental role in the transformation of the Pac-12 Conference over the last several years. In addition to his success as Stanford's AD, he has deep Midwest roots having previously served for many years as AD at Iowa and Northern Iowa, while his transcendent skills are illustrated by his role as a member of the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee.
 
Click here to see the conference's official announcement regarding the appointment and more details on Commissioner-elect Bowlsby's background.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 27

Good afternoon Wildcat Nation!
 
A busy weekend is upon us here at K-State, and many of you already may be on your way to Manhattan for tonight's 28th-annual Powercat Auction at Bramlage. Another sellout crowd will be on hand, and we hope to see you all on campus over the next several days as we head into an exciting weekend of events. Here are the highlights and a breakdown of the events:
 
Friday:
Powercat Auction and Golf Tournament

We had a great turnout at this morning's Powercat Golf Tournament at Colbert Hills Golf Course to kick off the weekend. In just a little bit, we will fill Bramlage for the Powercat Auction, which remains our department's single-largest fundraising event and supports the Ahearn Fund, our National Fund for Student-Athlete Excellence. Last year's event raised more than $275,000 to directly enhance the student-athlete experience for all Wildcat student-athletes, and all of our Powercat Members ($300 donation level and above) will be a part of this year's event. Click here for a full list of auction items that will be available at tonight's event.
 
Baseball Opens Series with Oklahoma State
For those fans unable to attend the Powercat Auction, head over to Tointon Stadium for tonight's 6:30 p.m., matchup with the Cowboys. It's Ladies Night at the ballpark as fans can purchase a $10 ticket package that includes one general admission bench ticket and one pink K-State baseball hat. Additionally, Manhattan area vendors will be available during the regularly-scheduled pregame tailgate on Friday beginning at 5 p.m., directly behind the stadium off College Avenue. The pregame tailgate includes a hot dog meal for $4 and a cheeseburger meal for $5.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 19

Good evening K-State Nation!
 
While our student-athletes begin preparing for next month's final exams, we will have some exciting events in the weeks ahead with the 2012 Big 12 Track and Field Championships at R.V. Christian Track Complex as well as the completion of our baseball, tennis, golf and rowing seasons. And behind the scenes, we continue to make terrific progress in the planning stages of the West Stadium Center project - the groundbreaking ceremony is only one week away!
 
For those of you on campus, you may have run into Coach Weber earlier today as he and a few members of our staff spent the morning touring the campus and meeting numerous students, faculty and administrators. I continue to be impressed with how well Coach Weber has transitioned into his role here and couldn't be more excited to have him lead our program.      
 
As you can see, there has been a lot going on so let's get right to some additional updates from around the department.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 6

Good afternoon K-State Nation!
 
Today has been another busy one for the Wildcats. President Schulz and Provost Mason are hosting a two-day campus visit by the state of Kansas Board of Regents, and we just finished giving them a special construction tour of our $18 million Basketball Training Facility. It was my first time inside the BTF since February 24 and I was amazed at the progress in that short time period. The limestone going on the exterior looks awesome!
 
There is lots of K-State sports action this weekend, so let's get right to the updates.
 
West Stadium Center Project Groundbreaking Set for April 28th
Today at lunch we hosted our media for a press conference announcing the next step in the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan, the West Stadium Center (click here for the official press release). When we proposed Phase II, the West Stadium Center, at the bowl pep rally at Rangers Ballpark in January, the reaction and endorsement from our fans was tremendous, and today I am very pleased to announce that enthusiasm has translated into dramatic fundraising momentum which will enable us to formally break ground on April 28, 2012, with the intent to complete the WSC in time for the 2013 football season. Interest in the project has been terrific, and with the recent commitment of a $5 million challenge gift from an anonymous donor and the full subscription of the WSC's 40 suites, we are now launching the club and loge seating phase of the project.
 
At over 250,000 square feet, the West Stadium Center will have something for every K-State fan and every student-athlete. Our goal of the Best Fan Experience in the Big 12 will be enhanced with twice as many restroom fixtures and four times the concession points of sale as the existing west stadium, along with a hall of honor recognizing the heritage of our university and athletics program, with equally vital improvements in safety, security and ADA access.
 
A student-athlete dining center will directly benefit all K-State athletics teams while the new structure will mark the northwest gateway of our beautiful campus and serve as rallying point for the entire university as we pursue the goal of elevating K-State into the ranks of the top 50 public research universities by 2025.
 
The West Stadium Center is also symbolic of our commitment to fiscal responsibility as no state or university tuition dollars will be used in its construction while it also generates significant future income to be invested in our program.
 
And, not insignificantly, the West Stadium Center and Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan will help secure our competitive future, a future we are absolutely committed to championship performances at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.

Click here learn more and find out how you can help make the WSC a reality.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 27

Good afternoon Wildcat Nation,

Thank you for your continued support of K-State athletics and our 440 student-athletes and our 16 teams.

A few moments ago, we wrapped up a news conference in the Legends Room at Bramlage Coliseum to address the status of our men's basketball program.  As you are aware, Coach Martin has resigned his position as head coach.

Coach Martin's contract called for a renegotiation period to begin on April 1, but almost two months ago we offered Coach Martin the opportunity to begin discussions on a significant enhancement and extension of his contract.  His decision, which we respected, was to wait until the end of the season to begin those conversations and in our frequent subsequent discussions he maintained that position.  On Friday, I received a call from South Carolina AD Eric Hyman informing me of their interest in Coach Martin.  Later that evening I received a request from Coach Martin indicating that his representatives had been in touch with South Carolina and he wished to speak with South Carolina and intended to take the position if offered.  Yesterday afternoon Coach Martin informed me that he had accepted the position at South Carolina and was resigning his position at K-State.

We wish him the best and offer our appreciation for all he and his staff have accomplished for our basketball program, athletics department and university during his time as head coach.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 23

Dear Wildcat Nation,

Greetings from the Little Apple! After several days of needed rain showers, it appears we are in store for a beautiful spring weekend as we host events in baseball and tennis.
 
It certainly has been a great year so far for our athletics program: in fact, did you know that K-State is one of only five schools in the country this year that went to a bowl game and picked up wins in the NCAA volleyball and both basketball championships? And, we still have the remainder of the spring season to add to those accolades as baseball, tennis, golf, track and field, rowing and equestrian continue their schedules.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 21

Good evening K-State Fans!

After the flight home Tuesday from Connecticut with our women's basketball team I have been back in the office going through the usual accumulation that results from a week on the road!  Before I dig into the next stack, I do want to take a moment to offer my congratulations to both our basketball teams on another terrific season for each.  Not only did both programs reach the 20-win mark again, but K-State was one of only 10 schools in the nation this year to have both its men's and women's teams win games in the NCAA tournament.  I am very proud of the hard work of our student-athletes and coaches as we enjoy continued success both on the court and in the classroom.

As many of you are aware, we experienced a very unfortunate off-court issue last weekend involving our basketball student-athlete Jamar Samuels, and I want to take a minute to help our fans understand NCAA rules and processes related to situations like this.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - March 9

Greetings from Kansas City!

In just a few hours, we will head over to historic Municipal Auditorium for our women's Big 12 semifinal basketball matchup with No. 1 Baylor. If you are in the Kansas City area, come cheer on Coach Patterson's squad following our big win over Iowa State yesterday. If you cannot make it to the game, tune in to Fox Sports Net at noon for a live telecast or listen along the K-State Sports Network.

Thanks to all the fans that made it to either one or both Thursday matchups in Kansas City - we are pleased with not only the performance of both of our teams this season but also the continued fan support that makes Bramlage Coliseum and both venues in Kansas City such a tremendous home court advantage.

I'm proud of the leadership of both our coaches and the perseverance of our teams. In a conference as tough as the Big 12 there are going to be inevitable ups and downs - but did you know that K-State is the only school in the league to have both men's and women's teams finish in the top five for two consecutive years? Coach Patterson is now one win away from her ninth 20th-win season and Coach Martin has had five straight 20-win seasons. In fact, in men's basketball over that time frame KU and K-State rank first and second in total Big 12 wins!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 25

Good Morning K-State Fans,

I wasn't sure how we could top last Saturday's four wins in tennis, baseball, and men's and women's basketball, but it's been another great week already, and we're not slowing down - today is a huge one for K-State sports action with our track programs competing at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, baseball playing in San Diego, our women's basketball team at Missouri (watch live here on K-StateHD.tv or listen in at 12 p.m. on 1350 AM/102.5 FM) and of course our home men's basketball game against Iowa State at 12:30 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. You can catch it on the Big 12 Network/ESPN Full Court on your television set [KSHB (Kansas City), KSAS (Wichita), KSNT (Topeka)] and of course on radio with Wyatt and Stan broadcasting along the K-State Sports Network.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 10

Good Afternoon K-State Fans,

It's been a busy week for the Wildcats!  Personally I've made good use of our five daily American Airlines flights into MHK as I have been on the road quite a bit.  On Monday morning I caught the 6:30 AM flight through Dallas and headed out west to spend some time with many of our Colbert Hills "Founders." We are grateful for the vision of those who conceived and built our outstanding "home" course, which is not only one of the finest intercollegiate golf facilities in the country but as an "open-to-the-public" course and dining clubhouse is also a tremendous asset for our entire university and Manhattan community. Click here for all the latest information on Colbert Hills.

Tuesday morning the wake-up call came early to enable me to make it back to DFW for a lunch meeting with our media rights partner Learfield before catching the afternoon flight into MHK, just in time to pick up my family and head to Bramlage to see our win over  Texas Tech.  See below for a neat story about Texas Tech's Luke Adams that puts it all in perspective.


Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 25

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation,

Greetings from Lubbock, Texas, where tonight our 22nd-ranked men's basketball team will take on Texas Tech in a nationally-televised ESPNU game at 8 p.m. If you are not around a television set, catch the action along the K-State Sports Network and on satellite radio channels Sirius 92/XM 191. When I'm on the road I always try to get in an early morning jog, preferably around a college campus. This morning I ran around the fine campus of our fellow Big 12 member institution Texas Tech. They've done a great job improving both their academic and athletic facilities over the past 10 years. Of course I believe our historic limestone campus at K-State is already among the prettiest in America, and under President Schulz's leadership and the K-State 2025 initiative, we will indeed achieve our goal of being amongst the top 50 public research universities in America.
 
Back on the home front, campus is buzzing again as we've begun another exciting semester here at K-State, and tonight, our second-place women's basketball team hosts Iowa State at 7 p.m. inside Bramlage Coliseum. Head over to Bramlage to check out our squad, which is exciting to watch and playing at a high level. If you cannot be in attendance, tune in to Cox Kansas 22 for the game, catch the K-State Gameday pregame show on K-StateHD.TV or listen along the K-State Sports Network.

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!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 5

Greetings from Texas!
 
The AT&T Cotton Bowl family has done a tremendous job hosting the K-State nation over the past week, and after our incredible pep rally today at Rangers Ballpark I know our team and fans are all ready to head across the street tomorrow for the big game versus Arkansas!
 
It's been awesome to watch the area fill up with purple over the last couple of days - we are grateful to the passionate support of all K-Staters, both those who will be present in the stadium and the extended Wildcat Family watching around the nation on FOX! Thank you!
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 30

Greetings Wildcat Nation!

Let's start by congratulating Deb Patterson and the K-State women's basketball team for their win over Marist in New York last night which improves the Wildcats' record to 9-3 on the year. Coach Patterson's charges return home to open Big 12 play against defending NCAA champion Texas A&M next Wednesday, January 4, at a special start time of 5:30 p.m. A Wildcat Weekday 4-Pack, which includes four tickets, four concession vouchers for chips, drinks and a hot dog, is available for as little as $30 - come out and support the Cats!

On the Road at Christmastime
I hope that K-Staters everywhere have had a happy and safe holiday season. The Currie family had the good fortune to roll out to Colorado for a few days over Christmas. We drove back on Tuesday, December 27, which happened to be a beautiful sunny day. Anytime I make that drive, passing through great Kansas towns like Goodland, Colby, Hays, Russell, etc, I love seeing the crop fields, elevators, oil rigs, corrals and now windmills that cover the landscape - all representing the hard work and productivity of the people of our state. I also think about the many, many hours K-State's great fans spend on the road coming to Manhattan to support the Cats throughout the year!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 8

Wildcat Nation,

Greetings from 36,000 feet as I type from seat 24D on my way from New York to Chicago to catch a flight to Wichita and tonight's Wildcat Classic at INTRUST Bank Arena.

We are excited to have a capacity crowd for the matchup with future Big 12 foe West Virginia on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.  Thanks are in order to Mayor Carl Brewer and the greater Wichita community for the warm way they have welcomed both teams.  This afternoon our legendary Alumni Association CEO Amy Button Renz was present for Mayor Brewer's naming of "Wildcat Way" outside the INTRUST Bank Arena.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 4

Good Evening K-State Fans!

It has been a great weekend to be a Wildcat with big wins by our women's volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball and football teams - including Coach Fritz's squad's upset of No. 2 Nebraska (to advance to the NCAA volleyball Sweet 16), and Coach Snyder's football charges capturing their 10th win of the season over Iowa State on senior day. Thanks to all the fans that braved the weather conditions on Saturday - you made a big difference, as you have all season, in yet another courageous win by our student-athletes!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 22

Good morning Wildcats,

Last week, the Big 12 Conference family suffered a terrible loss when Oklahoma State head women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna died in a plane accident while returning from a recruiting trip. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families as well as the entire Oklahoma State community during these tough circumstances. Memorial services were held yesterday in Stillwater with Coach Deb Patterson and Associate Athletics Director Chad Weiberg making the trip down to represent Kansas State University and pay their respects.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holidays, it has been a very busy yet exciting month around the department.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - November 9

Good Morning K-State Nation!

Now that we're well into November and it seems that there is a K-State athletic event almost every day, I am reminded each day how lucky I am to be your Athletics Director. Remember that this month is also critical for our student-athletes as they complete term assignments and get ready for December's final exams.

From the Mailbag...
This morning I want to share with you a few emails I received earlier this week. The first is going to make you proud.

Letter - Welcome West Virginia!

Good afternoon!

An exciting fall weekend has already begun in Manhattan as alumni from across the country have returned for Homecoming.

It has been a priority for us to keep our K-State alumni and friends up to date as much as possible on developments related to the Big 12 Conference and the national intercollegiate realignment scene.

Today the Big 12 Conference has taken another significant step toward achieving long-term stability and maintaining our reputation as one of the top leagues in the country as West Virginia University has officially been accepted as the newest member of the Big 12 Conference, effective July 1, 2012. We are proud to welcome such a terrific university and athletics program to our league and look forward to furthering our relationships with the Mountaineer administration, coaches, student-athletes and fans.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 28

Good morning K-State fans!

It's Homecoming at Kansas State University and we are excited to have our terrific alumni and friends back on campus. As a reminder the annual Homecoming parade takes place this afternoon at 5 p.m. starting along Poyntz Avenue near Manhattan Town Center featuring honorary Grand Marshalls Jack and Donna Vanier.

In addition to a full slate of regular "day-before-the-game" activities I have the opportunity to speak to the Ahearn Fund National Leadership Circle this morning. We can't thank all our donors enough for the tremendous support K-State is receiving. Did you know that we now have Ahearn Fund donors in 48 states? Let's find some purple pride for the Ahearn Fund in Vermont and Maine!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 20

Good evening K-State fans!

First, congratulations to Suzie Fritz and the K-State volleyball team for a great victory over the Jayhawks last night in Lawrence. Obviously this is a big week for the Sunflower Showdown series and it is nice to start it off right! 

  Busy Day in Lawrence on Saturday 
Congratulations are also in order to Coach Snyder and the Wildcat football team for the terrific 6-0 start and No. 11 BCS ranking. I know that K-Staters world-wide are excited about the season so far. But, as our coaches always stress, the most important thing is to focus on the next game and make daily improvements across the board. And, this week is a very important test as we travel to Lawrence for the 109th edition of the Sunflower Showdown against the Jayhawks. Tickets are still available for $85.

I'll be heading over early on I-70 with a first stop at the K-State Alumni Association's Wildcat Pregame at Wayne and Larry's Sports Bar and Grill at 933 Iowa Street. Come on out as Powercat Gameday begins at 7 a.m. After that I will attend the annual Sunflower Showdown Legislative Pregame reception jointly hosted by KU and K-State for our legislators before I walk over to the stadium.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - Welcome TCU!

Good evening, K-State fans!

Its has been a great last few days for K-State, highlighted by great victories on Saturday over Missouri in football and at Texas Tech in volleyball.

As we have mentioned in previous letters, we want to keep Wildcat fans apprised of conference realignment/expansion details as they emerge. Tonight the Big 12 Conference has taken a significant step toward achieving long-term stability and maintaining our reputation as one of the top leagues in the country as TCU has officially elected to join the Big 12 Conference earlier this evening, effective July 1, 2012. We are proud to welcome such a terrific university to our league and look forward to furthering our relationships with their administration, coaches, student-athletes and fans.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 4

Good afternoon K-State fans!

I'm getting ready to head east to Kansas City for a few afternoon media appearances before I spend some time with the KC Catbackers at their weekly meeting - if you are in the KC area tonight stop by Lucky Brewgrille in Mission beginning at 5:30 p.m. and join in the fun.

Before I hop in the car and hit I-70, I want to thank you for your attendance and support at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Ahearn Field House so far this fall.

This past weekend, our terrific football crowd made a difference in the outcome of the game against Baylor, and Coach Snyder and our student-athletes appreciate your support. Our home attendance average so far this year is 50,058, and we are currently one of just 21 schools in the nation to operate at full capacity for multiple games and just one of 13 to do so for three or more games!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 28

September 28, 2011

Good afternoon K-State fans!

The fall semester is off to a terrific start as our student-athletes, coaches and staff members continue to work hard each and every day.

I would like to commend Wildcat Nation on a strong showing in Miami last weekend as Coach Snyder and our football team were victorious in one of the most exciting games in all of college football. It has been a very exciting and successful season thus far in the Big 12 - ESPN released its latest conference ratings Monday with the Big 12 overtaking the SEC for the top spot thanks to a combined 26-2 record against non-conference opponents.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 9

Good morning K-State fans!

This letter is going to be a bit different from the normal, but first - congratulations to K-State volleyball for its win last night!  And on the alumni front, how about Jordy Nelson and Darren Sproles both finding the endzone last night in the NFL season opener!

The last several days have certainly been interesting!  I know that is frustrating for our fans to hear so many conflicting rumors and speculation about the Big 12 and other conference alignment issues, especially considering the Big 12 was undefeated and had the most wins among automatic qualifier (AQ) conferences on opening weekend and currently has six teams in the top 25. We continue to believe that K-State's interests are best served in our current contiguous geography and great rivalries. Certainly we are continuing to actively work together and with our colleagues to appropriately position K-State's rich athletics tradition and national brand.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 1

Good afternoon Wildcats!

I assure you that after the much talked about events of the past few weeks I have never been more ready for the start of a fall athletic season. It's time to shift the focus of college athletics back to where it ought to be all the time - to the fields and courts on which our world-class student-athletes compete.

Here are a few updates from Wildcat Land as we head into a big weekend.

Eastern Kentucky Game, 3rd Annual Family Reunion Sold Out!
Earlier today we announced that our fans have stepped up once again to achieve our third-straight season-opening sellout at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. As the game is just a few days away, please remember to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion that may arise around town, especially due to the K-18 project west of Manhattan - click here for our press release on traffic in the city and around the stadium.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 26

Good afternoon Wildcats!

The Manhattan community and K-State campus are buzzing with the record number of students who began fall semester classes this week.  This past Sunday night, approximately 6,000 fired-up K-State students took part in the Week of Welcome pep rally at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.  This event has become a special annual tradition for K-State students with a stirring performance by the Pride of Wildcatland Band, Cheer and Classy Cats, and great remarks from President Schulz, Coach Snyder and a number of student-athletes. The best student section in college football is ready for an exciting 2011-12 athletics season and so are we!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 15

Good morning Wildcats!

Today is an exciting day for Kansas State University and K-State Athletics.  For several months we have targeted today to share with you some ground-breaking news about a project that Athletics and University staff have been working on for the past year.  

Obviously there have been a few other hot college news items over the last several days and we even briefly discussed possibly delaying our announcement in light of these distractions.

However, despite those distractions, our coaches and staff haven't slowed down one bit working every day toward our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program with a world-class student-athlete experience - so, we are very proud to announce today the launch of our own exclusive, high-definition online video network known as K-StateHD.TV!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 18

Good afternoon Wildcats!

I trust you are enjoying a safe summer and have managed to keep cool throughout our recent heat wave.  

Let's start off today's letter with a big THANK YOU to all of our fans, alumni and friends across the country for their support and participation in the Ahearn Fund.  Because of you, when the books closed on June 30, the 2011 fiscal year was the biggest ever giving year in K-State Athletics history.

Thanks to grass-roots support our membership grew by 14.5% to an all-time high of 7,027, we surpassed our Ahearn Fund annual goal again, this time by $1 million, and, total athletics gifts (not including pledges) reached $17.7 million, a 5% increase over FY 2010's then-record performance.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 30

Good afternoon Wildcats!

Today is the final day of the fiscal year and I am grateful to report to you that for the second straight year we fully expect to have achieved a balanced budget for FY2011 when we finish closing the books later this summer.

Two years ago we promised in the K-State Pledge that fiscal integrity and transparency would be among our five core goals for K-State Athletics.  Through your support and participation as ticket holders and in the Ahearn Fund, new measures promoting efficiency and cost containment, and the excitement generated by the performances of Wildcat student-athletes, we have been able to fulfill that promise.  It takes a total team effort to achieve this goal - our fans buying tickets and contributing to the Ahearn Fund while trusting us to be good stewards of their gifts, along with the budget consciousness of our staff and coaches.

As I have said before, the grass roots support of our fans provides us a unique advantage here at K-State and nothing reflects that any more than when you make it to Manhattan to be a part of capacity crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Bramlage Coliseum and all of our other venues.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 22

Good afternoon Wildcats!

I trust your week is going well - ours started off great Monday night with a very special department reception at the beautiful Colbert Hills clubhouse in honor of our track and field student-athletes and coaches and their Top-20 national finishes a few weeks ago. Both of our 2011 national champions, Ryann Krais and Erik Kynard, were in attendance along with a number of our 2011 All-Americans and their teammates. Seeing these young people have the opportunity to enjoy team fellowship and be recognized for their success is an important component towards our goal of providing our student-athletes a world-class experience at Kansas State.

I'm already looking forward to Manhattan having the opportunity to experience live and up close these incredible competitors and the rest of the next year's Big 12 Outdoor Championships - mark your calendars now for May 11-13, 2012, and be a part of the action!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 15

Good morning Wildcats!

We trust your summer is off to an enjoyable start -- it's already been an action-packed month here on campus as we push to the end of the fiscal year and prepare for 2011-12.  The new infill artificial turf in Bill Snyder Family Stadium looks awesome and many of our student-athletes have told me how much they like the feel of the new surface.  If you ride by the east side of the stadium you can see that the upper-deck restrooms are about to get their roofs and the contractor will soon begin cladding the new structures with Flint Hills limestone.  And of course, the final excavation is almost complete for the Basketball Training Facility!

Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 1

Good afternoon Wildcats!

I hope you had a nice and relaxing Memorial Day holiday. Certainly all of us are grateful for the service and sacrifice through the years of all our servicemen and women ... and their families.

Like many of you Memorial Day was busy for our family - my son and I joined the baseball team at Tointon Family Stadium to watch the NCAA selection show, and the whole family hit Aggieville for lunch at Kites before a little pool time.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - May 18

Good morning Wildcats!

It's exactly two years to the day since I was introduced as your athletics director. Our family loves living in Manhattan and being part of the K-State nation!

This week has been just like the last 104 ... busy! I've enjoyed being in Dodge City for the Catbacker tour kickoff event, attending an alumni association event last night before our baseball game in Wichita and am currently making a quick trip (thanks to one of four daily flights by American Airlines out of MHK) to see a few donors, a bowl partner and attend to some other long-range planning business before returning for the Kaw Valley Catbacker event and our baseball home finale against KU Friday night.