A Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 29, 2016

Good Afternoon K-State Nation!

Greetings from America’s #1 College Town as classes are in full swing and our 450+ student-athletes are hard at work pursuing their academic and athletic goals! It’s been too long since I last wrote, but that’s not for a lack of activity as it is still August and already your K-State Wildcats are achieving at a high level and setting the stage for a special year.

First, history was made Friday night as Coach Dibbini and our soccer team recorded the program’s first-ever win, a 6-0 defeat of 2015 NCAA Tournament participant Oakland, on the road in Detroit – hope you were able to watch it live on ESPN3 as I did or catch Mitch Fortner’s live radio call on 101.5 in the MHK area and world-wide on www.kstatesports.com.

And, after listening live as volleyball thrashed perennial Pac-12 power Arizona in Hawaii Friday night, I woke up early Sunday morning to the email update that Coach Fritz’s veteran team had knocked off #6 Hawai’i on the home court of the Rainbow Wahine in what turned out to be a central time midnight special! Coach Fritz has now won 297 matches in her illustrious career as K-State head coach, and we encourage you to come see the Cats in the air conditioned comfort of Bramlage Coliseum for the K-State Invitational this coming weekend, starting with a big match-up against the Michigan Wolverines at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

That of course gives you plenty of time to then get in front of your television set for the 8 p.m. central FS1 nationally-televised football matchup at Stanford which will feature the lead FOX television crew of Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Shannon Spake! Also on Friday Coach Godfrey and the cross country teams will begin competition on Friday in Sioux Falls, SD, while soccer is back on the road at Creighton. Read on below for more details.

We have updated you all summer on the progress of Phase 3B of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan, and I am sure many of you had the chance to see the finished product at Fan Appreciation Day a couple of weeks ago. If not, we will see you September 17 for the Family Reunion home-opening football game against FAU or the week before at the Wildcat Kickoff music festival featuring Zac Brown Band, Train and Phillip Phillips. You may have also noticed all of the construction around the K-State campus, as the beautiful new Wefald Hall and the spectacular College of Business Administration building have officially opened their doors, furthering K-State's status as a Carnegie Tier 1 University.

Before we dive into today’s updates, I would like to reflect back to our fourth annual new-student Convocation in Bramlage Coliseum and eighth annual Week of Welcome Pep Rally in Bill Snyder Family Stadium last week. More than 6,000 students filled the stadium and were fired up to get the semester started! This event continues to grow every year, and hats off to all in attendance, including the 400-plus members of the nation’s top marching band who led the terrific crowd in the fight song and the No. 1 Pregame Tradition in the Big 12, the Wabash Cannonball.

K-Staters Amping Up for Stanford Trip
Football season is here, and we look forward to seeing our fans turn Palo Alto and the surrounding area purple for our opener Friday night against Stanford. We are anticipating more than 6,000 K-Staters to be in attendance for the game. Also, our Alumni Association will be holding a pregame event from 3-5 p.m. PDT at Templeton Plaza on the Stanford campus which will feature a nice meal and special guests. Click here for more information on that event. It was also great to have the SiriusXM Road Trip Tour visit Manhattan a few weeks ago as Andy Staples, Coach Butch Davis and producer T.J. Cutini spent the day gathering interviews for a two-hour K-State Football preview – you can hear a replay of the show on the SiriusXM app. We will see you in Palo Alto! If you can’t tune in to the FS1 television broadcast, you can listen to the game on SiriusXM Channel 84, k-statesports.com and of course across the 36-station K-State Sports Network in the state of Kansas which includes the return of 580 WIBW to the affiliates list. We appreciate K-State Sports Properties GM Ben Boyle working diligently for many years to re-establish this historic partnership which not only dates back half a century but also provides our teams a tremendous platform on Topeka’s top sports station and AM 580’s powerful signal. You can click here for our full list of radio affiliates.

Football Ticket Update/Closed Captioning Ready for BSFS
Excitement is building for the 2016 season, Coach Snyder’s 25th year at the helm of the Wildcats, as a limited number of single-game tickets remain for our six home games including only scattered singles and SRO for Missouri State and Texas and just 400 adjoining tickets for the 8th annual Family Reunion home opener against FAU on September 17. Click here for more ticket information and to secure your place in Bill Snyder Family Stadium this fall as we look to build on 27 consecutive sellouts. I also want to provide another reminder about our new clear bag policy that will go into effect this season for all of our ticketed sports, in addition to the September 10 Wildcat Kickoff Classic concert at BSFS. Click here for more on that policy. Also, another improvement fans will notice this season, especially those with hearing impairments, is the “closed captioning” on our north end message boards at Bill Snyder Family Stadium which debuted at our Week of Welcome pep rally.

K-State Soccer is Finally Here!
After 22 months of preparation K-State has become the 10th member of the Big 12 and 334th NCAA Division I intercollegiate team. Friday’s historic victory was just our third game ever, as the regular season got underway two weeks ago with a 3-1 loss at St. Louis, followed by a 0-0 draw at SIUE. Congrats again to Coach Dibbini, his staff and our student-athletes. A few more road matches are on tap, but we will host Northern Iowa on September 16 in our inaugural regular season home match. Be sure and come out and enjoy some Wildcat soccer -- we are expecting a capacity crowd! For those who can't make it to a match this season, we recently released our full broadcast schedule for both radio and TV which includes ALL matches (home and away) being broadcast live on 101.5 K-ROCK in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com featuring new play-by-play announcer Mitch Fortner. Click here for our full release. Already 1,376 members from 38 states have joined the soccer Founder’s Club.

Italy Trip Provides Lifelong Memories for Hoops Squad
What an amazing experience our basketball student-athletes, coaches, staff and a loyal group of fans had during our recent trip to Italy and Switzerland. Not only did our student-athletes get the opportunity to bond as teammates and work on becoming a better basketball team, but the cultural experience of visiting some of the world’s most iconic venues, museums, establishments, etc., will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives. This is a perfect example of how we can provide a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience, and it was special for all of us who had the opportunity to travel. You can click here for a recap of the trip.

Cats in Rio Recap
The Olympic games are now complete as Closing Ceremonies were televised on Sunday, and I am so proud of the Wildcat representation that we had in Rio. Led by Coach Rovelto, the Cats had a strong showing at the games with Alyx Treasure and Erik Kynard both making the finals in high jump and hurdlers Jeffrey Julmis and Balazs Baji making the semifinals in the 110 meter hurdles. Akela Jones and Shadae Lawrence each recorded top-25 finishes in the heptathlon and discus throw, respectively, while Beverly Ramos finished in 71st place in her first Olympic marathon. Congrats to these world-class athletes as they represented K-State and their respective countries in a first-class manner.

That will do it for today. We look forward to our first home competition of the season when our volleyball team hosts Michigan, Georgia Tech and Tennessee State in the K-State Invitational this weekend at Bramlage Coliseum.

Go Cats!

John