--- Click here to read previous letters from John Currie
Dear Wildcat Nation,
As we head to Kansas City for the Big 12 basketball tournaments I want to take a moment to thank each and every Wildcat basketball fan who has supported our teams this season. We’ve had great moments in Bramlage Coliseum including women’s upset wins over ranked teams Iowa State and Kansas, and of course a complete sell-out of the men’s home conference schedule and exciting nationally televised moments throughout the season. I appreciate the efforts of Coach Martin and Coach Patterson, and our staffs and players and we look forward to supporting their efforts to continue to build our programs.
Today we are pleased to share with you an exciting announcement regarding the men’s basketball program. Since my arrival in Manhattan last June I have conducted an ongoing evaluation of all our athletic programs and coaching staffs. As I have said frequently, I am impressed with the depth of quality of our head coaching roster and it is clear that Coach Martin is an exemplary member of that group. Certainly this evaluation extends far beyond the court to the academic performance and character of our teams and the commitment Coach Martin has shown to representing the broader ideals of Kansas State. In addition to winning 67 games and counting in his first three seasons, the academic performance of our student-athletes has dramatically improved under Coach Martin’s leadership. Our three seniors are on track to graduate in May and our four year men’s basketball graduation rate of 75% is the highest in the Big 12. The team’s most recent APR score was our second highest ever at .959 which brings our four year average to within a one-thousandth of the four-year composite NCAA target average of .925.
While we are very proud of the accomplishments of this season, we are equally confident in the continued growth of the program into a regular contender for Big 12 and national honors under Coach Martin’s on-going leadership. Thus, with the approval of the KSA Board of Directors and President Schulz, we have offered and Coach Martin has accepted a new contract that signifies our confidence in him, his long-term commitment to K-State, and perhaps most importantly, demonstrates K-State’s determination to achieve our vision of becoming a model intercollegiate program with, among other goals, championship athletic performances in the Big 12 and nationally.
The new contract along with long-term retention incentives will elevate Coach Martin’s compensation to an average of $1.55 million for the 2010-2011 through 2014-2015 seasons. He will also be eligible for a nationally competitive incentive program including annual performance incentives of up to 32% of his base salary. Additionally, Coach Martin will receive a signing bonus of $462,800 payable by July 30, half of which will be forfeited if he is not K-State’s coach when the 2010-2011 season begins.
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A critical component of K-State’s ability to achieve these goals is the individual grass-roots participation of Wildcats nationwide in the Ahearn Fund. Your contributions, large and small are the key to funding the competitive salaries of our coaches, scholarships for Wildcat student-athletes, and facility improvements critical to this quest. If you have not already done so, please click on www.ahearnfund.com to make your tax deductible gift to support K-State’s quest.
As we proceed through an exciting postseason we remind you that the deadline for season ticket holders and Ahearn members to pre-order NCAA tickets is March 8th. Stay tuned to www.kstatesports.com for more information as the Cats’ post-season plans unfold.
On behalf of our 435 student athletes in K-State’s 16 intercollegiate sports, thank you for your continued support of the Wildcats.