Dec. 20, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - In the midst of one of the most successful periods in K-State Athletics history, including a record-breaking 2012-13 academic year, Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz announced today that Athletics Director John Currie has signed a contract extension through the 2019 academic year.
The agreement adds one year to his current contract, securing Currie's services through June 30, 2019. Schulz said that Currie's annual salary will increase by $100,000 to $575,000 for the remainder of the 2013-14 fiscal year through the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Currie's salary will then increase to $600,000 in 2016-17, $625,000 in 2017-18 and $650,000 in 2018-19, while the extension also includes an enhanced retention incentive structure.
"Our athletics department has achieved unprecedented success the past four years under John's tremendous leadership," said Schulz. "With continued excellence in the classroom, record fundraising, dramatic facility improvements benefiting all of our student-athletes and three conference championships last year, K-State is truly recognized as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics. John's vision and partnership also have been critically important to the entire university family as we continue to work toward becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
"Mary Lawrence, our children and I are grateful and fortunate to call K-State and Manhattan home and are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the K-State family," Currie said. "Thanks to the efforts of President Schulz and his K-State 2025 vision, our terrific coaches, staff, loyal fans and donors, and, most importantly, more than 430 dedicated student-athletes, we continue to make great strides toward our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. It is truly an honor to serve such a transformational group of head coaches led by Coach Snyder as well as the fine student-athletes here at K-State. We have seen across-the-board success over the past four and a half years with championship performances, both athletically and academically, and with the continued support of K-State Nation we will continue to maintain and build upon our competitive future as a national leader in college athletics."
Since Currie's introduction as director of athletics in May 2009, the Wildcats' athletics program has experienced a tremendous turnaround and unprecedented athletic and academic accomplishments. Driving towards the vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, Currie's rebuilt senior leadership team has turned an inherited deficit into national acclaim as the NCAA's most financially solvent program, initiated $125 million in comprehensive facility improvements including the new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium, and launched K-StateHD.TV, the nation's No. 1 premium digital network.
Athletically Currie's tenure has been marked by across the board success including a 2012-13 campaign that saw K-State become just the fourth BCS school since 1998 to win conference titles in football, men's basketball and baseball in the same year. His first marquee coaching hire, 2013 Big 12 Coach of the year Bruce Weber, led the `Cats to their first men's basketball conference title in 36 years, while 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year Brad Hill led the baseball program to its first conference title in 80 years and a berth in the NCAA Super Regionals.
Academically, all Wildcat programs boast multi-year APR marks of at least .945, with men's basketball and football sporting most recent year scores of 1.000 and .986, respectively.
"Beyond the championships, conference and national honors, new athletic facilities and the department's strong financial position, John's leadership, integrity and transparency have put K-State Athletics in an enviable position," said Ahearn Fund National Leadership Circle member Rand Berney. "His ability to articulate his vision and strategic plan and his focus on providing a great fan experience has certainly brought donor confidence to a high level."
With the tag line of "Welcome to K-State" symbolizing the goal of providing The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, K-State's marketing and fundraising efforts have been completely overhauled in Currie's tenure. Responding to a new emphasis on personal interaction and communication, K-State supporters have pushed attendance to new heights, while the Ahearn Fund's fiscal year 2013's record of $36.8 million means that annual cash giving totals have nearly tripled since Currie's arrival.
Currie's award-winning Fan Experience staff has created new ticket initiatives that have led to 22 sellout crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2009, including a current streak of 13 straight, while the 2013 football season saw K-State set new school records for total and average attendance. The Cats have also set new season total and average attendance records in baseball, sold a record number of season tickets for volleyball and baseball and became one of just 13 schools nationally to draw more than 12,000 in paid attendance for every regular season home men's basketball game over the last three seasons while also ranking in the top 25 in women's basketball attendance in multiple seasons.
K-State donors have stepped up with 13 private gifts in excess of $1 million since fall 2009, while Ahearn Fund participation has eclipsed 9,300 members for the first time in department history.
The 2013 Bobby Dodd AD of the Year and a 2012 UnderArmour AD of the Year, Currie serves on the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors and was one of only two intercollegiate ADs named to SportsBusiness Journal's 2011 prestigious Forty Under 40 list of national sports leaders.
"I'm thrilled John has chosen to extend his commitment to Kansas State," said Ahearn Fund National Leadership Circle member Mike Goss. "He brings such passion and energy to our athletic program, and when you add his contributions to the great work being done by President Schulz and the rest of the K-State team, I have no doubt that K-State's best days are still ahead."