A Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 2, 2016

Good Morning K-State Nation!

We are coming off a great Wildcat Weekend, highlighted by a men’s basketball win over Ole Miss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and a very special induction of 10 new members into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in addition to a fun reunion of six decades of former women’s basketball student-athletes!  It was a pleasure seeing and visiting with both groups, and if you have a chance, watch the hall of fame ceremony on K-StateHD.TV and enjoy the emotional comments from the inductees reflecting on their time at K-State.  Our goal No. 1 of a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience reflects our desire to provide a lifelong relationship with our alumni student-athletes, and events such as these are key elements in being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.

On a side note, congrats to the Big 12 Conference on winning the Big 12/SEC Challenge this past weekend with a 7-3 record! #GoBig12

There is no rest for the weary, however, and candidly no time to be weary, as it is another busy week for K-State Athletics with National Signing Day on Wednesday for our football and soccer programs, while both basketball teams will be on the road – the men in Lawrence to play the No. 6 Jayhawks and the women at No. 4 Baylor. Tennis hosts Colorado on Friday, and Saturday features equestrian at Oklahoma State, women’s hoops at West Virginia, track and field in Lincoln, Nebraska (Friday and Saturday) and men’s basketball at home against No. 1 Oklahoma.

We Heard You… Radio Broadcasts to Return to 580 WIBW in Topeka!
It's very exciting to announce that radio broadcasts of K-State athletics events will return to their roots next fall as 580 WIBW will be the Topeka home of Wildcat broadcasts for the next five years.  From the moment I arrived at K-State in 2009 I heard repeatedly from K-Staters in the Topeka area and across the state how important the relationship with WIBW was to our fans.  I appreciate K-State Sports Properties GM Ben Boyle working diligently for many years to re-establish this historic partnership with K-State Athletics and WIBW 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 read our complete press release here.

Volleyball Coach Suzie Fritz Signs Contract Extension
I am also pleased to share with you today that veteran volleyball coach Suzie Fritz has signed a contract extension through the 2020 season.  Under her leadership, we have gone to 11 NCAA Tournaments in 15 seasons including four of the past five years.  This past season our squad advanced to the postseason with a roster that included no seniors, so we are excited about the years ahead.  She has done a tremendous job as head coach, and we look forward to her continued success leading our volleyball team.  Most importantly, she is a great role model and mentor for the young women in our program.  Did you know K-State currently boasts the best Academic Performance Rate (APR) score in the Big 12 Conference?  You can read our full announcement at k-statesports.com.

Licensing Contract with Learfield Renewed
We recently extended our trademark licensing partnership with Learfield Licensing Partners. In 2010 we partnered with Licensing Resource Group and quickly rose to become the No. 1 client in their portfolio, which also includes Baylor, Iowa State, NC State and Mississippi State. LRG was purchased by Learfield Sports in 2014, who also manages our media and sponsorship rights. This new agreement continues an outstanding partnership focused on continued growth of the K-State brand through apparel and merchandise sales. LLP manages royalty collection, relationships with branded merchandise providers and retail buyers, as well as trademark enforcement working with our Director of Licensing, Tami Breymeyer, on a daily basis. Last year, K-State received nearly $1.4 million in licensing royalties, which were disbursed to K-State Athletics, as well as a variety of scholarship recipients within the K-State Marching Band, Cheerleading, and the Division of Communications and Marketing.

Ticket Deadline for Big 12 Basketball Tournament Approaching
Postseason basketball is just a month away as the men will once again play in Kansas City at the Sprint Center beginning March 9, while the women will travel to Oklahoma City for the championship which begins on March 4. The deadline for Ahearn Fund members and basketball season ticket holders to request Big 12 tournament tickets for both the women’s and men’s basketball championships is this Friday, February 5. For more information please contact the K-State Ticket Office at 800.221.CATS or complete an application by clicking here or logging into your ticket account here. Ticket requests are expected to exceed our allotment for the men’s championship, so it is important to utilize your priority points and submit an application by the deadline. We look forward to seeing our great fans at both tournaments in March.

That will do it for today.  Be sure and follow www.kstatesports.com for National Signing Day coverage tomorrow and Thursday for the latest updates and information on the newest members of the Wildcat Family.  We’ll see you on Saturday at Bramlage as the men’s team hosts the No. 1-ranked team in the country – the Oklahoma Sooners – at 5 p.m.  I know the Octagon of Doom will be packed with purple and loud for what should be an exciting game and electric atmosphere.

Go Cats!