AutoZone Liberty Bowl Teleconference Quotes

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart
Opening Statement…
“This is certainly one of the happy days of the college football season – bowl invitation day. As the seventh-oldest bowl game in America, we have had some great coaches and great players participate over the years, so we are very pleased to make these official invitations here tonight. We have a great set of events planned for the participating teams. They come into town on Monday, December 28, and they can get a good work week of practices, culminating with a Saturday afternoon kickoff on ESPN. There is no other football head-to-head against us, either college or pro, so it’s a great time and day to play on Saturday afternoon. We have a lot of great events planned during the week. We have our team welcome party at the wonderful, new world’s-largest Bass Pro Shops and we’ll have some gift cards for the players to do some shopping there, followed by the rodeos, parades and galas, the pregame buffets and all the great events associated with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. We are very proud to be able to have this game and feature these two universities and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

K-State Athletics Director John Currie
Opening Statement…
“On behalf of President Kirk Schulz, our 250,000 friends and alumni nation-wide and 46 states represented with season-ticket holders, and of course legendary head coach Bill Snyder – who (on Tuesday) will be induced into the College Football Hall of Fame – we are delighted to accept the invitation and we look forward to coming to Beale Street, Memphis and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.”

On the Liberty Bowl matchup…
“We obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for the Arkansas football program. We expect it to be an exciting game, and it’s obviously a great matchup. It’s a rematch of the Cotton Bowl a few years ago when K-State played Arkansas. For our fans, one of the great things about this matchup is the relatively close proximity to each school. It’s not too far away for our fans; even though we’re spread across the country, it’s about a nine-hour drive from Manhattan and a seven-hour drive from Kansas City. I know it’s close to Fayetteville as well, so we’re excited. We respect Coach (Bret) Bielema a great deal – he was part of a Big 12 Championship team here a number of years ago. It will be a great, classic college football matchup.”

K-State Head Coach Bill Snyder
Opening Statement…
“We’re just gracious to have the opportunity to compete in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. I’ve heard nothing but tremendous things, not only about the bowl and the community, but the way the bowl is conducted and the professionalism that exists in providing so much in the way of opportunities for young people to experience new, positive things in their lives. Everybody that I’m aware of, when they’ve played there, they’ve had a good appreciation for it. We are certainly honored to be there.

“As far as Bret (Bielema) and his team, I’m in New York (at the Hall of Fame induction) because of guys like Bret that have given me the opportunity to reap the benefits of what they’ve done. Our team, our players are excited about being there. They’re excited about having the opportunity after having a lull in the middle of our season. But they’ve responded quite well and they’re excited about being there and gracious to have the opportunity.”