A Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 27, 2015

Dear K-State Nation,

Even in the midst of intense athletics competition we sometimes are painfully reminded of the fragility of life, and thus I begin this letter by asking that we all continue to keep our friends at Oklahoma State University in our thoughts and prayers.  Saturday’s tragic accident during their annual homecoming parade was heartbreaking, but we know the Cowboy family and Stillwater community will persevere.

Volleyball Looks to Carry Momentum Following Sweep of Tech
Coach Fritz and the volleyball team came away from Lubbock, Texas, last Saturday with a 3-0 sweep of the Red Raiders to move to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play.  Now having captured two straight road victories, the squad heads to West Virginia on Wednesday before heading back to Ahearn Field House on Halloween night for a big 7 p.m. matchup with TCU.  I also would like to take a moment to thank the K-State Nation for providing a terrific environment last week for the Texas match at Bramlage Coliseum before an ESPNU national television audience.

New Vanier Football Complex Video Tour Debuts

Our fans asked and now following several weeks of arranging interviews, shooting additional interior video utilizing a drone and adding in-game footage, we are pleased today to release a complete fly-through video tour of the new Vanier Family Football Complex.  The VFC has already received national acclaim and drawn rave reviews from our student-athletes, coaches, staff members, media and all those who have been inside the new building.  Hats off to K-StateHD.TV Video Producer Preston Koerner for his hard work on this video.  Click here to watch the tour, and enjoy!  And thank you for your commitment and support which has allowed us to complete transformational projects like the VFC as part of $195 million of facility improvements since 2012.

New Rules Changes Highlight Start of 2015-16 Basketball Season
Basketball season is upon us as Coach Weber and our men’s team will kick off the season at 7 p.m., Friday with an exhibition against Emporia State, while Coach Mittie and the women’s squad will get underway at 7 p.m., Monday against Washburn.  As we head into the season fans will quickly notice a number of rule changes in both the men’s and women’s games.  On the men’s side, a 30-second shot clock will be implemented, while one less timeout will be available to each team during the course of the game.  Significantly, timeouts must be called by players on the court while officials will be enforcing several rules designed to reduce overly physical play and return emphasis to skill and freedom of movement.  Also, the arc underneath the basket will be extended from 3 feet to 4 feet after data showed it reduced the number of collisions.  On the women’s side, the teams will play four, 10-minute quarters instead of two, 20-minute halves, and following the fifth foul committed in each quarter, opposing teams will shoot two free throws.  I am looking forward to watching our teams in action and encourage you to be in Bramlage for what should be an exciting season for both teams.

Equestrian Home Friday, XC to Big 12s Saturday

Under the direction of 2015 Big 12 Coach of the Year Casie Maxwell, the K-State Equestrian team will host No. 3 Baylor at home at Timbercreek Stables on Friday beginning at 10 a.m.  And we wish the best of luck to Coach Godfrey and our cross country teams as they compete in the Big 12 Championship meet on Saturday morning in Stillwater.  Meanwhile, both the men’s golf and women’s tennis teams have been in action as the golf team finished eighth in North Carolina and were led by top finisher Matt Green (t20th), while the Wildcat netters recorded 11 total wins in both singles and doubles at the Drake Jamboree in Des Moines, Iowa.   Best of luck to all of our teams in action this week, and be sure to follow all results at k-statesports.com and via social media.

A Fond Farewell to an All-Time Great

On Friday afternoon, Coach Snyder and Sharon, Deputy AD Laird Veatch, Alumni Association CEO Amy Button Renz and I were able to attend the Kansas City memorial service for one of the all-time great K-Staters, Fred Merrill, Sr.  Fred’s passion and love for K-State will forever be remembered.  He and Virginia, his wife of 67 years, have played a key part in facility improvements and projects throughout all athletic venues at Kansas State dating back to the 1970s, including the Dev Nelson Press Box at then-KSU Stadium, the indoor football facility, the Vanier Football Complex, Colbert Hills Golf Course, Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium and most recently, the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.  Fred, a 1949 graduate of K-State with a degree in milling science, was founder and chairman of Cereal Food Processors.  In 2011, he was presented the Department of Grain Science and Industry Outstanding Alumni Award by President Kirk Schulz, while in 2005 he was honored with the K-State Medal of Excellence and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Agriculture.  We thank Virginia, their children Melanie, Fred Jr., Melinda and Merrie and spouses, and 18 grand and great-grandchildren for sharing Fred with the K-State family for all these years!

That will do it for today. Thank you for all you do for K-State student-athletes! We hope to see you Friday for equestrian and men’s basketball, Saturday for volleyball and Monday night for women’s basketball. And, best of luck to the Kansas City Royals as they host the Mets in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series tonight.

Go Cats!