Weiser Named Big 12 Deputy Commissioner

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State Athletics Director Tim Weiser announced his resignation today to accept the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.

Weiser, who has guided the Wildcats’ athletics department since July 1, 2001, said he will shortly begin familiarizing himself with his new responsibilities at the conference office in Dallas while working closely with University President Jon Wefald and Vice President Bob Krause to ensure a smooth transition at K-State.

“My time at Kansas State has been personally and professionally rewarding and certainly filled with many great moments and successes I will never forget,” said Weiser, who celebrated his 50th birthday the night of one of the great victories in recent K-State history when the Wildcats ended “The Streak” against then No. 2-ranked Kansas on January 30.

“I wasn’t looking for opportunities to leave,’’ he added.  “But after 20 years as an athletics director at four different institutions the timing seemed right for a new challenge when I was approached by Commissioner Dan Beebe.  I think I’ve known for a good while this would be my last AD’s job. I feel I am leaving K-State Athletics on solid footing with respect to the important areas of finances, facilities and coaching.”

President Wefald said that during the transition Senior Associate Athletics Director Jim Epps would be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the department reporting directly to Vice President Krause, who will have oversight responsibilities for athletics.

“I cannot sufficiently in words offer my gratitude and thanks to President Wefald and Bob Krause for granting me the opportunity six-plus years ago to lead this athletics department,” Weiser said.  “Their support through the good times and the difficult issues was always unwavering.  I cannot imagine there to be a Division I institution with greater administrative support for athletics than here at Kansas State.”

“And to the great coaches and staff members whom I’ve had the honor to work with, I offer my heartfelt thanks for their loyalty, integrity and persistence in working to make our athletics department the best it can be.”

In his Big 12 post, Weiser will assist the Commissioner as a staff liaison to the Board of Directors, oversee the day-to-day operation of the Conference office and coordinate activities in the Commissioner’s absence.  Weiser fills the vacancy created after Beebe was elevated to Commissioner following the departure of Kevin Weiberg.

“I am delighted that Tim has agreed to join the Big 12 Conference office,” Commissioner Beebe said.  “I am fortunate to be able to add him to an already excellent staff and I feel confident we will be in terrific position to serve our member institutions.  The Conference will benefit tremendously by having on staff a person with such exceptional campus experience.  Tim has shared with me over the years his interest in being in position at 50 years of age to do something different.  I am grateful that he has chosen to take on his next career experience with me.  I know we will accomplish great things together.”                

During his tenure, Weiser guided K-State Athletics to an unprecedented level of success that allowed it to emerge as one of the Big 12 Conference’s premier programs.  He was noted for his philosophy of providing the best possible experience for student-athletes, often expressing that his ultimate thrill was to see Wildcat student-athletes reach for their diploma while sporting a championship ring.

Weiser made it a priority to operate the department in a sound fiscal manner, allowing for consistent growth in the areas of revenues, donor and corporate support and facility enhancement.  As a result, Kansas State was able to make upgrades for nearly all of K-State’s 16 intercollegiate athletics programs in terms of budget support and improved facilities.

In the last three years alone, K-State completed nearly $7 million in upgrades to the Vanier Football Complex and Bill Snyder Family Stadium, constructed premium loge seating in Bramlage Coliseum, built new team facilities for the track and rowing programs, and installed new playing surfaces in nearly all of its competitive and practice venues, including FieldTurf in the Indoor Football Complex, Brandeberry Indoor Complex and Tointon Family Stadium.  In all, nearly $30 million of facility improvements occurred under Weiser’s leadership.

Kansas State’s annual athletics operating budget also showed unprecedented growth under Weiser’s direction, expanding from $27 million in fiscal year 2001 to nearly $40 million in this academic year. Additionally, Weiser was able to institute a multi-million dollar reserve fund the first of its kind in school history as K-State finished in the black in each year of his tenure.

On the field, the Wildcats enjoyed unprecedented success.  During the 2006-07 season, football (Texas Bowl), men’s basketball (NIT), women’s basketball (WNIT) and baseball (Big 12 Tournament) all made post-season appearances in the same academic year.  In 2003-04, Weiser’s third year at the helm, Kansas State became the first Big 12 institution to win conference championships in three top-tier sports (football, volleyball, women’s basketball) in the same year.

Kansas State has also been one of the conference leaders in classroom achievement. Over the past four years, nearly half of K-State’s student-athletes have achieved a grade-point average of 3.0 or better, earning Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll distinction.  The recently completed fall semester saw a record 238 Wildcat student-athletes were named to the Big 12 Honor Roll, including every member of the women’s basketball team.

The popularity of Wildcat athletics also skyrocketed to all-time levels under Weiser’s direction, highlighted by the renaissance in men’s basketball with season-ticket sellouts in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.  With Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum consistently filled to capacity, K-State has generated record revenues in the areas of fundraising, corporate sponsorship and media rights.

The number of contributors to the Mike Ahearn Scholarship fund has reached nearly 8,000, representing more than a 50 percent increase from Weiser’s first year at K-State.  A highlight of the fundraising efforts under Weiser came in 2005 with a $3.5 million gift from the Jack Vanier family to establish the first endowed head coaching position at K-State.  Corporate support also reached an all-time high, buoyed by a record-setting five-year sponsorship pact with ALLTEL and an agreement with NIKE that made it the official footwear and apparel supplier of Kansas State Athletics. 

In one of the more controversial decisions early in his tenure, Weiser negotiated a new deal for K-State’s radio rights.  Ultimately, K-State signed a 10-year contract with Learfield Communications, providing the largest revenue contract in the history of Wildcat athletics.  What was once a $300,000 annual rights fee payment will be worth more than $3.2 million in revenues in 2008-09 for the department’s multimedia and marketing rights.

Weiser was selected the 2004-05 NACDA Central Region Athletics Director of the Year and also received the General Robert Neyland Outstanding Athletics Director Award from the All-America Football Foundation.  He served as president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association and on the NCAA Championships Cabinet.  He is currently a member of the NCAA Baseball Committee and recently served on the NCAA Baseball Academic Enhancement panel.

Named Kansas State’s 13th Director of Athletics on July 1, 2001, Weiser’s arrival at K-State was a homecoming for the native Kansan, who was raised in Great Bend and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling from Emporia State while competing on a baseball scholarship.  He came to Kansas State after a successful three-year run as athletics director at Colorado State.  Prior to his tenure at Colorado State, Weiser served as athletics director at Eastern Michigan for four years and held the same position at Austin Peay State University from July 1988 to September 1993.  Weiser began his career in intercollegiate athletics at Wichita State University, serving in various roles from February 1983 through July 1988 before earning his first athletics director’s post at Austin Peay.