Former Wildcat Greats to Join K-StateHD.TV Team

Mark Simoneau

Aug. 22, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State fans will be treated to the opinions and perspectives of some of their favorite all-time Wildcats as Kansas State announced that several former Wildcat greats in the sports of football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball have joined the K-StateHD.TV team as analysts for the 2011-12 season.

The programming talent includes former All-Americans Mark Simoneau (football), Liz Wegner-Bush (volleyball) and Craig Wilson (baseball), while fan favorites Danielle Zanotti (women’s basketball), Clent Stewart (men’s basketball) and Chris Merriewether (men’s basketball) will also join the broadcast team.

“We are committed to making our K-StateHD.TV programming the best that it can be and appreciate these former Wildcat greats’ roles in providing our fans the best viewing experience possible,” said Athletics Director John  Currie. “We are very excited about our August 30 launch and know that the global exposure it will provide our 465 student-athletes will be beneficial not only to our athletic programs but K-Staters world-wide as well.”

Beginning with the inaugural live event on August 30, the Cats’ volleyball home opener against Creighton, Wildcat greats from their respective sports will join host Brian Smoller for K-State Gameday, which will air prior to each home football and selected volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball games as well as other selected events. The pregame show featuring Smoller and Wegner-Bush for the August 30 volleyball match, which also features $1 GA tickets for all fans, will begin at 6:15 p.m., while the football pregame show featuring Simoneau will begin at 5:15 p.m. on September 3. Following all pregame shows, the audio for the HD broadcast will transition to the appropriate radio call for play-by-play action, which will be displayed over the HD video stream. For games that are not shown on K-StateHD.TV, the pregame show will direct viewers to the free online audio call of the respective game following K-State Gameday.

A member of K-State’s Ring of Honor, Simoneau was one of the best linebackers ever to play at Kansas State. A letterman for the Cats from 1996-99, he currently ranks No. 3 all-time in tackles (400) and in tackles for losses. He played in four bowl games for K-State and led the team in tackles both as a junior and senior. In 1999, Simoneau was named first-team All-American, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was the runner-up for the Butkus Award, while he was also named the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 1996. Simoneau went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL with Atlanta, Philadelphia and New Orleans and had 370 tackles.

Wegner-Bush is the career kills leader in Kansas State volleyball history. The outside hitter tallied 1,907 kills during her career while being named to the Volleyball Magazine All-America Team twice. In 2000, she posted 571 kills which still ranks second for a single season, while she also holds the No. 3 mark on the list with 526 kills in 1999. During her career, K-State went 82-38 and reached at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament each year. She was a three-time All-Big 12 Conference selection making the first team her junior and senior years.

A two-time All-American, Wilson is one of the most decorated baseball players in K-State history. A four-year letterwinner from 1989-92, Wilson earned first team All-America honors in 1992, which followed a third team designation in 1991. He was also named the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1992, and he was the school’s only conference player of the year for nearly two decades. Wilson still holds the Kansas State career records for games played (250), game started (236) and singles (188), while he is tied for first in extra-base hits (94) and second in hits (282), doubles (58), triples (15) and runs scored (181). A member of K-State’s All-Century Team, Wilson played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team and spent three seasons in the MLB with the Chicago White Sox from 1998-2000.

Zanotti was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats from 2005-09, helping the Wildcats to 90 victories. During her playing career under Coach Patterson, Zanotti played in 130 career games to rank third in school history for games played. She averaged 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest while helping K-State to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two Postseason WNIT appearances, including the 2006 Postseason WNIT title and the 2008 Big 12 regular season crown.                               

A four-year starter for the Wildcats, Stewart was known for his steady play at the point guard spot from 2004-08.  He was part of a senior class that helped K-State back into the national spotlight, earning the school its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in more than 20 years in 2008.  He still ranks among the top-10 in four career categories, including third in assists (395), fourth in minutes played (3,295), fifth in games played (121) and sixth in games started (95).

A walk-on turned scholarship student-athlete, Merriewether left Kansas State as one of the program’s all-time winningest players.  He helped the Wildcats to 95 wins between 2006-07 and 2009-10, helping the program to four consecutive postseason appearances, including a memorable run to the Elite Eight in 2010.  A fan favorite with his gritty play, Merriewether saw action in 101 games in his career with six starts.  He was also outstanding off-the-court, becoming the first Wildcat basketball player to be named President of K-State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

K-StateHD.TV will represent the first exclusive HD broadcast of Wildcat sporting events such as all K-State volleyball and K-State baseball home matches/games and also provide HD coverage of selected Olympic sports or available football and men’s/women’s basketball games. 

Viewers will also see exclusive content such as K-State Gameday, the official show for K-State HD athletic events, in addition to video productions aimed at increasing the visibility of all K-State athletic teams as well as on-campus activities/events.

A majority of the on-demand programming, including campus lectures and performances, will be available for free, while live athletic events, classic games and other various programming will be premium-based content.

To visit the home of K-StateHD.TV, or to subscribe to the service, visit www.k-statehd.tv. The subscription service remains a product of K-State’s All-Access platform through the CBS College Network so current subscribers will have immediate access to K-State HD.TV content. Also, All-Access users will benefit from the upgraded viewing experience without an increase in subscription costs as they will remain at $9.95 per month and $79.95 per year.