A Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 6, 2016

Good Morning K-State Nation!

It will be a busy and exciting Wildcat Weekend here in America’s No. 1 College Town as Coach Fritz and the volleyball team, coming off a 3-0 sweep of Texas Tech on Wednesday, host TCU at 1 p.m., Saturday, in Ahearn Field House (today’s K-State Sports Extra featured a terrific story on Katie Reininger) followed by our 6 p.m. ESPNU nationally-televised football matchup with Texas Tech which is expected to be another sellout, our 30th straight at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.  It also marks our annual Cats for Cans food drive as members of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting canned goods and monetary donations beginning two hours prior to kick.

We have two teams in action on Friday, which also happens to be Coach Snyder’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Coach!), as Coach Dibbini and the soccer team travel to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns in our lone matchup this season against a future conference opponent (our soccer team will begin a full Big 12 schedule next year), while Coach Steinberg’s netters are in Dallas for a fall tournament at SMU.

At 2:30 p.m., Friday, I’ll be heading over to see lots of great K-State friends at the dedication and ribbon-cutting for the spectacular new state-of-the-art $55 million College of Business Administration building.  It is a testament to the values of the K-State Nation that many of our lead athletic facility donors have made similar or greater gifts to campus projects like the COB, the Berney Family Welcome Center, Engineering expansion and many other academic initiatives as we collectively strive toward the K-State 2025 goals. Click here for more information on tomorrow’s dedication – I hope to see you there!

Let’s keep going today with a football scheduling update.

Non-Conference Football Games with Tulane, Big Ten's Rutgers and North Dakota Added
We have finalized several contracts for future non-conference football games with the addition of Tulane, Big Ten member Rutgers and North Dakota.  North Dakota will visit Manhattan in 2020, while a two-for-one series with Tulane will begin in 2022 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and follow with a trip to New Orleans in 2024 and return to Manhattan in 2026.  We also have solidified a home-and-home agreement with Rutgers in 2030 (home) and 2031 (away).  Our ultimate goal is to have at least seven home games per year and we are well on our way of accomplishing that.  Here is an updated list of our future out-of-conference matchups:

2017 – Central Arkansas; at Vanderbilt; Charlotte
2018 – South Dakota; Mississippi State; UTSA
2019 – Presbyterian; Bowling Green; at Mississippi State
2020 – Buffalo; North Dakota; Vanderbilt
2021 – Stanford; TBA; TBA
2022 – Abilene Christian; Tulane; TBA
2023 – TBA; TBA; TBA
2024 – Arizona; at Tulane; TBA
2025 – at Arizona; TBA; TBA
2026 – Washington State; Tulane
2027 – at Colorado
2028 – Colorado
2029 – at Washington State
2030 – Rutgers
2031 – at Rutgers

K-State Grad, Abilene Native and Longtime White House Speaker Marlin Fitzwater Donates Work
Earlier this week I had a chance to attend a special evening at Hale Library honoring Marlin Fitzwater, a K-State graduate and one of the longest serving White House spokesmen in history, and his donation of his personal collection and papers to the university archives.  “Marlin Fitzwater: From Wheat Fields to White House” will be on display in K-State's beautiful Hale Library through March 17.  Mr. Fitzwater told me afterwards that he reads all of our K-State Sports Extra emails and letters and follows the Cats closely!  You can click here for more information on the exhibit and how you can join many of our coaches and Mary Lawrence and me as "Friends of the K-State Libraries.”

Varsity K Club Weekend
This weekend will be special for all former Wildcat student-athletes as we host the second annual Varsity K Club Reunion. Launched last year, more than 500 former Wildcats are expected to be back and we look forward to an exciting weekend which will feature a Friday reception and facilities tour, Saturday volleyball match at 1 p.m., pregame football tailgate and, of course, our 6 p.m. football game. Click here for more information on the Varsity K Club.

Practice Underway for Both Hoops Teams; Scrimmages to be Held Saturday
Basketball season is right around the corner as both Coach Weber and Coach Mittie have begun preseason workouts with their squads, and you can see them both in action Saturday as the women will scrimmage at 2 p.m. and the men at 3:15 p.m. inside Bramlage.  Excitement is high for the December 11 women’s matchup with defending national champion UCONN as more than 7,500 tickets have already been sold.  All general admission seating is SOLD OUT!  Reserve your seat today for this historic game as only chairback and other reserved seating remain available.  On the men’s side, single-game tickets for the 18-game home schedule, excluding the Kansas game, went on sale Monday and you can click here for more men’s ticket information and here for the women.  On a side note, it was great to see many of our former men’s basketball team members back in town for the Florida Atlantic football game including all-time leading scorer Jacob Pullen, current Miami Heat guard Rodney McGruder, Jamar Samuels, Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving and Chris Merriewether.  Corbin McGuire caught up with Jacob in one of our latest Sports Extra features in case you haven’t had the chance to read

Also, Coach Weber and his staff will host the American Cancer Society’s Hoop Scoop for Women clinic on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Ice Family Basketball Center.  The clinic will give attendees an exclusive look at the ins-and-outs of the men’s basketball program as well as provide personal interaction with members of the coaching staff and student-athletes.  The deadline to register for the event is Friday, October 28.  Reservations are limited to the first 150 registrants.  Attendees can register here.  For more information on the clinic, please contact Bailey Bachamp in the men’s basketball office at (785) 532.6531 or via email at bbachamp@kstatesports.com.

Record Crowds Witness Inaugural Soccer Home Matches
Another terrific crowd of 2,000-plus cheered on the Wildcat soccer team in its final home match last Friday of the inaugural season of competition.  In addition to picking up a win over UMKC, we closed the books on what has turned out to be the fourth-highest average women’s soccer attendance in the country this season as we averaged 2,265 fans which includes the largest crowd to ever witness a Division I women’s soccer game in the state of Kansas (2,403).  We appreciate the support of K-Staters and of course our coaches and student-athletes for making this season so special, and we look forward to following them over these final three road matches.

Women’s Golf Takes Title in Lincoln; Men Finish One Stroke Shy of First
Congrats to Coach Knight, Coach Stew and our women’s golfers who took home the team championship at last week’s Chip-N-Club Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska, going wire-to-wire over the three-round tournament.  Click here for our full recap, and best of luck to the squad October 17-18, in Greenville, North Carolina, at the Greenville Regional Preview.  Meanwhile, Coach Robbins and the men’s team finished one stroke shy of claiming the team title at the Bill Ross Intercollegiate in Kansas City earlier this week.  Both teams have had solid starts to the fall!

Welcome Back, Erik Kynard, Jr.!
Former Wildcat great and Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard has been no stranger to Manhattan and K-State since his graduation, as he and several other world-class athletes remain in the community to train under legendary coach Cliff Rovelto. Earlier this week, Coach Rovelto announced that Erik has joined the full-time coaching staff here and will assist with our high jumpers and combined event athletes, while also helping in recruiting efforts.  You can click here for our full release.

That will do it for today. We look forward to seeing you Saturday afternoon at Ahearn Field House for Wildcat Volleyball and Bill Snyder Family Stadium in the evening for exciting Big 12 football action.

Go Cats!

John