Hocutt Reminisces on Years at K-State

Best friends for more than two decades, the two former Wildcat linebackers were a part of Bill Snyder's first recruiting class and each played a key role in the greatest turnaround in college football history.
So, when Hocutt came to town with Texas Tech this week before Saturday's 45-13 Wildcat victory, Veatch was thrilled to see his former teammate. 
"The relationship that I've had with Kirby has been special from the beginning," said Veatch on Friday afternoon after spending the day with Hocutt. "We were the only two linebackers to come in to our class - Coach Snyder's first recruiting class - and make it all the way through. We went through some amazing things at that time during that turnaround."
Veatch and Hocutt played at K-State from 1991-94 and accomplished things that K-State football had never before seen in the program's history.
From a trip to Tokyo, Japan, to the program's first bowl win - a 52-17 win over Wyoming at the 1993 Copper Bowl - the duo was a part of establishing a new culture for K-State football. 
"The importance of the Copper Bowl for Kansas State University - as somebody who was in Bill Snyder's first recruiting class and came in and bought in to the vision that he has for this program - that step, going to that bowl game, was monumental for our confidence and for our belief on who we were becoming as a program at that time," said Hocutt remembering back to his days as a Wildcat. "And the support with the turnout of the Kansas State fans at that game - that was tremendous. Laird and I still smile; we remember running out on to that field that night and seeing all the purple in that stadium."
During Veatch and Hocutt's time at K-State, the Wildcats went 30-15-1.  Their years under Snyder marked a few of the most exciting years in Wildcat football history.
"The following year, after the Copper Bowl, we went to the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii," continued Hocutt on his K-State experience. "It was the first time in my life that I got to go to Hawaii, and two years earlier, we went to the Coca Cola Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. What tremendous life experiences I had as a student athlete at K-State."
Since graduating from K-State, both Veatch and Hocutt have stayed within the world of collegiate athletics. 
"He's been the guy in my life that's stayed the closest because of what we do," said Veatch who said he talks to Hocutt at least once a week, if not more. "We've both stayed in this profession all the way through. We compare notes, we talk, and to be able to see him doing what he's done, that's really fun. It's been a special deal. I always love it when he comes back."
 
Though the outcome of Saturday evening's game may not have turned out in his current school's favor, the Red Raider athletic director left the Little Apple with fondness after a weekend of remembering his years in purple. 
"It's always a lot of fun to come back," concluded Hocutt. "It brings back great memories. I met so many dear friends my five years here and had so many great experiences. To be a part of what folks have called 'the greatest turnaround in college football history,' that's something that I will carry with me forever. The friendships and the relationships that come with that, they are very special to me." 
 

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