A Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 23, 2016

Good Afternoon K-State Nation,

Actually it is fairly early as I finish up this letter on a beautiful Kansas morning which is hopefully setting up as another perfect day for wheat harvest.  In fact, I am achieving one of my long-held goals today as I am heading up to Jewell to ride a combine with my good friend Roger Oplinger as Spring Creek Family Farms continues their harvest.  Roger, along with his wife Barb (a longtime Farmhouse fraternity house mom!), and their daughter and son-in-law Ky and Todd Zenger are loyal K-State Wildcats and representative of the world-class agricultural producers of our state.  You can check out some of my photos from the day on Instagram (john_curriead) and Twitter.

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer so far – it’s hard to imagine we are already closing in on the month of July.  Let me continue today by congratulating Kim Williamson on becoming a National Champion in the high jump at last week’s NCAA Track and Field Championships and also to both teams as our women finished tied for seventh and the men 26th in the final team standings.  It will be an exciting summer following the Olympic Games in Brazil with many current and former Wildcats participating.  And congrats to NCAA Indoor Champion and Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year Dani Winters on recently being named a candidate for the NCAA Woman of the Year award!

Coach Rovelto Ready to Don the Red, White and Blue
In addition to many of our current and former student-athletes preparing for Rio, our own Cliff Rovelto will be one of 10 total full-time Team USA coaches this summer in Rio as he will lead the men’s jumps and combined events.  He is one of only three college coaches on the men’s Team USA staff and has remained one of the most respected high jump coaches in the world. We wish Coach Rovelto and all current and former Wildcats the best of luck this summer representing K-State, the United States and other respective countries! Click here for our recent Sports Extra story on Coach Rovelto.

Stay Tuned for Phase 3B Video Tour Update
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to tour our Phase 3B project with K-StateHD.TV producers Preston Koerner and Dakota German – stay tuned later this week for a video feature and tour on the progress.  I know those attending the Wildcat Kickoff concert featuring Zac Brown Band and Train and of course our six home football games beginning September 17 will be blown away by our new northeast corner videoboard which towers over the new showcase stage for the Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band and 360-degree concourse.  We anticipate another season sellout for football, extending our home streak to 33 straight sellouts, and ticket sales have been great so far. Single game tickets and combo ticket packages are now on sale, so contact our ticket office at 800-221-CATS or visit k-statesports.com for more information. Reserve your spot now to be a part of the best gameday atmosphere in college football which includes the #1 Pregame Tradition in the Big 12 – the Wabash Cannonball!

Meet Corbin McGuire, our New K-State Sports Extra Senior Writer
Also on our tour was Corbin McGuire, who recently took over as our Sports Extra senior writer.  This position has been a valuable addition to our department as we continue to find unique and personal stories to tell about not only our student-athletes but also our coaches, staff and department as a whole.  Be sure and sign up for these daily email updates by clicking here, and help me welcome Corbin – a 2014 K-State graduate – to the Wildcat family!

Football Update: Colorado and Washington State added to Future Schedules
We have finalized contracts for two additional non-conference football games for upcoming seasons with home-and-home series with former conference foe Colorado (2027 and 2028) and Washington State (2026 and 2029), giving us four more games against other Power 5 programs.  Stay tuned for additional schedule updates as we continue to finalize future dates with opponents that fit our philosophy and make the most sense for K-State, which includes an ultimate goal of seven home games per year.  Here are our upcoming out-of-conference matchups as of today:

2016 – at Stanford; Florida Atlantic; Missouri State
2017 – Central Arkansas; at Vanderbilt; Charlotte
2018 – South Dakota; Mississippi State; UTSA
2019 – Presbyterian; Bowling Green; at Mississippi State
2020 – TBA; Buffalo; Vanderbilt
2021 – Stanford; TBA; TBA
2022 – Abilene Christian; TBA; TBA
2023 – TBA; TBA; TBA
2024 – Arizona; TBA; TBA
2025 – at Arizona; TBA; TBA
2026 – Washington State; TBA; TBA
2027 – at Colorado; TBA; TBA
2028 – Colorado; TBA; TBA
2029 – at Washington State; TBA; TBA

“Untitled” Men’s Basketball Video Series Premieres to Rave Reviews!
We have had terrific feedback from our Catbacker crowds regarding our student-athletes and how they represent our university in a first-class manner.  Every one of our student-athletes has a story and I encourage you to watch the “Untitled” basketball video series – produced by K-StateHD.TV’s Jay Moline.  The latest of these videos was released on Tuesday as our staff “went home” with Kamau Stokes to take a closer look at his path to K-State.  And if you haven’t already seen, the previous features on Barry Brown and D.J. Johnson were off the charts!

Joni Smoller Named President of NACMA
It has been a summer filled with staff recognitions for America’s Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, many of which I have covered in previous letters. Most recently, Assistant A.D. for Fan Experience and Sales Joni Smoller was appointed President of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA).  Joni has done a wonderful job of leading our fan experience and sales department and been instrumental in our current 27-game sellout streak at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Congrats to Joni on this terrific honor which is more special since it is voted on by her national peers.

West Stadium Center Named Top 20 Sports Destination for Weddings
And speaking of recognition, WeddingWire chose the West Stadium Center out of more than a thousand venues as of one its 20 winners of the 2016 Editors' Picks awards for the best sports themed venues for weddings.  Just another step in our quest of being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program and building the K-State brand!

Monday is the priority seating deadline for volleyball season tickets, so be sure and secure your place in Ahearn this fall for what will be an exciting volleyball season.  That’s it for today.  I hope everyone continues to have a safe and enjoyable summer, and we appreciate everything you do for Wildcat Student-Athletes.

Go Cats!