A Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 11, 2015

Dear K-State Nation,

It has been an unforgettable week for K-State Athletics, beginning with some exciting basketball wins to Coach Snyder’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame and wrapping up this weekend with Fall graduation ceremonies at Bramlage Coliseum. Those few things alone sum up what being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program is all about!

Before we get into more details about Coach Snyder’s induction, I would like to look back on some exciting on-the-field action which began with a comeback win for Coach Weber and the men’s basketball team on the road against a good Georgia team last week. I was proud of the fight our team displayed in the second half to erase a double-digit deficit and come home with a big victory – it was a happy flight home Friday night! Congrats to freshman Dean Wade on being named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week following his performance last week which included hitting the game-winning shot against the Dawgs. Following a dominating win over Coppin State on Wednesday, the Cats are now 7-1 on the year heading into tomorrow’s 4:30 p.m. game at No. 25 Texas A&M – which can be seen live on SEC Network and ESPN3.

Meanwhile, Coach Mittie and the women’s basketball team won two games this week following some difficult circumstances in Chicago against Chicago State. I was proud of the team for enduring a power outage at the arena that led to the game being moved to a practice facility in the second half; but the team, in addition to more than 100 family and friends in attendance, persevered and held on for a 63-54 win. The squad then defeated UT Rio Grande Valley, 61-43, to move to 7-1 on the year and will host FAU at 4 p.m., Sunday in Bramlage.

Which brings us back to football. I could not be more pleased with the resiliency our team has shown down the stretch this season, and behind the effort and leadership of Coach Snyder, our coaches and 18 seniors who played in their final home game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, rallying in the second half against West Virginia to win and become bowl eligible for the sixth-straight season was a fitting end to a great day. Seeing the excitement of our players and coaches after the game is a great reminder of why we do what we do, and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. And, more accolades rolled in after the win as Wildcats swept all three weekly Big 12 Player of the Week honors with Deante Burton, Charmeachealle Moore and Morgan Burns being honored – that’s four-straight weekly special teams honors for Morgan marking the first time in Big 12 history for a player to win the same weekly award four-straight times. A total of 10 football student-athletes also earned All-Big 12 recognition led by Morgan who also was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

Now, it’s time for the K-State Nation to turn Memphis purple as we are thrilled to be making our first-ever appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on January 2 against Arkansas from the SEC – in a rematch of the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl. Memphis is an iconic destination, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is one of the most tradition-rich bowls in all of college football, and we look forward to a wonderful experience. Ticket prices have already climbed on the secondary market, so we remind all K-Staters to purchase tickets through the athletic department to ensure seating in the K-State section in addition to the very reasonable $85 price. Click here for all information related to the bowl game, and we look forward to seeing lots of purple on Beale Street!

Finally, I again just want to say congratulations again to Coach Snyder and the entire Snyder family on his NFF College Football Hall of Fame induction. It is truly special, and I know that I speak for Coach Snyder when I say that this award is a reflection of many, including the fans who have continually supported our student-athletes and coaches throughout the years. We truly have the best fans in America and the best coach in college football! We had several staff members in attendance covering the event, and I hope you will take a moment to click here and watch the recap video of our Monday night reception produced and edited by our own Preston Koerner of K-StateHD.TV! It was a tremendous turnout with more than 200 friends, including many of Coach Snyder’s fellow coaching brethren, in attendance.

And speaking of K-StateHD.TV, click here for a very touching Sports Extra story on Jay Moline, another one of our K-StateHD.TV video producers. I am very appreciative of all our staff members, all of whom are the best in their respective fields and drive toward us achieving our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.

Finally, congratulations to the 24 student-athletes who will earn their Kansas State University degrees this weekend. The group and each of their families will be honored tonight at our annual graduation reception at the West Stadium Center following postseason awards ceremonies for both the football and volleyball teams. You can watch tonight's football awards ceremony live on K-StateHD.TV beginning at 5:30 p.m. Earning a degree while competing for championships on the field epitomizes our goal of a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience.

Be sure and visit k-statesports.com for results of all of the weekend action, including indoor track and field action from Ahearn Field House.

Thank you for all that you do, and……

Go Cats!

John