A Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 9, 2016

Good Morning K-State Nation!

It may be a bye week for Coach Snyder and the football team, but another busy weekend in Manhattan is upon us as our 4-2 volleyball team hosts the Wildcat Classic in Ahearn Field House today and Saturday. Be sure to be in attendance and witness Wildcat Volleyball history as our next win will be Coach Suzie Fritz’s 300th as head coach in addition to becoming just the third Big 12 volleyball program to reach 800 overall wins. Action starts at noon today against Mississippi State and will continue at 7:30 p.m. tonight against Miami.

And don’t forget the Wildcat Kickoff music festival tomorrow, as Zac Brown Band, Train, Phillip Phillips, and others will transform Bill Snyder Family Stadium into a concert-lover’s dream setting. Parking lots open at 1 p.m. with gates following at 3 p.m., so be sure and get your tickets now if you haven’t already for what will be an unforgettable afternoon and evening at the stadium. Click here for more details about tickets, parking and scheduled performance times.

Exciting News Regarding Manhattan’s GTM/K-State Super Store
K-State fans know that GTM and its K-State Super Store division are pillars of the home-grown Manhattan business community - a great example of the can-do-spirit of our town - started from scratch by Dave Dreiling out of his car trunk many years ago! Last week, Dave, our good friend and a lifelong Manhattanite and dedicated K-Stater, announced that he has sold his GTM and GTM retail stock to Hanesbrand, Inc., a $6 billion world-class apparel company. First, I would like to commend Dave on this move, a true testament to his vision and leadership and the teamwork of his staff through the years. Second, this agreement is not the end of GTM or the K-State Super Store but rather just the beginning of an exciting new era. Hanes’ heritage in collegiate apparel is deep with brands such as Gear and Champions, and the company is fully committed to Manhattan and K-State, as evidenced by its 10-year lease in the agreement. Fans will see no significant changes in the K-State Super Store structure, other than even more selection and offerings. We think this will have a long-term positive effect on the continued growth of the K-State brand and Manhattan community. A special thanks to Dave for his lifelong partnership with K-State, and we know his continued role of CEO will only strengthen this new venture moving forward. As a reminder, the K-State Super Store is our official partner, so every dollar spent there provides even more support of K-State Athletics!

K-State’s National Brand
Recently, accolades such as the No. 1 College Town in America, the No. 1 Pregame Football Tradition in the Big 12, and most importantly, K-State’s Carnegie Tier 1 classification have greatly enhanced the national brand of our terrific institution and community. Now, in the latest annual Princeton Review surveys, K-State has once again made its case for being one of the top universities in all of the country. Among the highlights in this year’s rankings for K-State included being ranked:

• No. 2 for Students Love These Colleges.
• No. 3 for Best Quality of Life.
• No. 4 for Best Athletic Facilities.
• No. 5 for Great Town-Gown Relations.
• No. 6 for Happiest students.
• No. 7 for Students Pack the Stadiums.
• No. 15 for Best Run Colleges.
• No. 18 for Best College Dorms

Pretty impressive list for K-State, and another sign of the terrific progress our university, community and athletics program have made on a national level!

Welcome to K-State, Jeremy Niederwerder
KSA welcomed a new addition to the staff this week as Jeremy Niederwerder began his duties as Associate Athletics Director for Facilities. Jeremy comes to us from Mortenson Company, in which he served in the role of Project Manager and was crucial in the planning, development and oversight of recent construction projects such as the West Stadium Center, Vanier Family Football Complex and Phase 3B. Jeremy will provide us a unique perspective on facility projects coming over from the “other side” and we know he will be a tremendous asset for us as we continue to carry out our overall facilities master plan. Thanks to the generosity of K-Staters world-wide we have added $210 million in facility upgrades in recent years. I roughly estimate the K-State Athletics facility infrastructure to have a replacement value of +/- $750 million. That's a lot of roofs, expansion joints, window seals, etc., for which we must care. Jeremy brings a high level of organization and technical skills to ensure that we do just that!

Football Ticket Update as Home Opener Nears
I couldn’t have been more proud of the 6,000-plus K-Staters who made their way to Palo Alto for the season-opening football game at Stanford. The noise and enthusiasm of our fans took over the stadium, and I know it made a difference for our players and coaches. Our young team fought tooth and nail with the No. 7 team in the country, and now they are preparing for next Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. FSN-televised home opener against FAU. Just a couple hundred tickets remain for the opener, so secure your seat now and help us move our consecutive sellout streak to 28 straight games.

Soccer, Cross Country and Golf Also in Action
After eight straight road matches to open our inaugural season, Coach Dibbini and the soccer team will make their home debut next Friday as we host Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. We are expecting an overflow crowd, and for those who can't make it to a match this season, be sure and tune in to K-StateHD.TV or listen live on 101.5 K-ROCK in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com featuring new play-by-play announcer Mitch Fortner. Congratulations to cross country runner Morgan Wedekind on her dominant performance and win at the Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last Friday which then led to her being tabbed Big 12 Runner of the Week on Tuesday. Both golf teams will tee it up for the first time this semester this weekend as the men head to the Badger Invitational in Wisconsin (Sunday through Tuesday), while the women will play in the Minnesota Invitational on Monday and Tuesday. Best of luck to both teams as they begin what should be an exciting season on the links.

Ahearn Fund Appreciation Week to Kick off Monday
New to 2016, the Ahearn Fund is expanding its Ahearn Fund Member Appreciation Day into Ahearn Fund Appreciation Week, which will begin on Monday with an introduction video and culminate on Saturday, September 17, with our Ahearn Fund Member Appreciation Day event on the football practice field. The annual Ahearn Fund Member Appreciation Day event will once again feature a meal provided by H3 Enterprises, LLC and HyVee, official K-State Athletics gear giveaways and special appearances by K-State student-athletes, coaches, The Pride of Wildcat Land and Willie the Wildcat. Our Ahearn Fund staff looks forward to serving you all next Saturday!

Basketball Schedules Announced; Reserve Your Seats Today
Last week our conference basketball schedules for both the men and women were announced, and we encourage you to reserve your seat in Bramlage Coliseum for what is going to be an exciting year for both teams. Defending National Champion UCONN will visit Manhattan on December 11, and you can purchase tickets for as low as $3 beginning Saturday at the FAU football game. We are expecting a huge crowd, so get your tickets today. On the men’s side, we have special “Pick 5” plans that for just $50, you can receive five vouchers that can be redeemed for five tickets of your choice (excluding KU), while a “Big Game Mini-Plan” is also available. For just $250, you can receive a reserved ticket for all weekend games (9 total, including 5 Big 12 match-ups!) and the KU game on Big Monday. Click here for more information.

That will do it for today. We look forward to seeing you this weekend at Ahearn Field House for Wildcat Volleyball and Bill Snyder Family Stadium Saturday for a full day of music and fun!

Go Cats!