Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 8

Let's get to some updates from around the department, beginning with an exciting new opportunity for one of our senior staff leaders.Chad Weiberg Named Deputy AD at Texas TechOf course, I did give our good friend Kirby Hocutt, a former K-State linebacker and team captain, some grief for "stealing away" one of our best persons as earlier this week we made a joint announcement with Texas Tech that Chad Weiberg has been named the new Deputy Athletics Director for the Red Raiders.  At Tech, Chad will serve as Kirby's second in command and be involved with all administrative units and department programming.  While selfishly we are sad to see him go, we are extremely happy for Chad, Jodi and their family for this terrific advancement opportunity to join Kirby's leadership team.  Part of our vision of being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program is providing opportunities that help our staff progress toward their own career goals, so when we "graduate" a key member of our staff to a transformational career opportunity it is a proud though bittersweet moment!  As a key member of our senior staff, Chad provided tremendous leadership as the Ahearn Fund has seen record-setting growth in both participation and total gifts, and we are grateful and appreciative for his 11 years of service to K-State.  I know many of you have become close to Chad and his family during their time here at K-State, and we wish them nothing but the best as they transition to Lubbock this summer.  You can read our full press release by clicking here.Groundbreaking for Soccer/Football Fields to be Held SaturdayTomorrow will be a memorable day for our soccer program as we hold a groundbreaking ceremony for our new practice and competition fields at 10 a.m., featuring K-State First Lady Dr. Noel Schulz and head coach Mike Dibbini.  The new home for soccer will be located just south of Tointon Family Stadium as two grass fields consisting of a Bermuda surface with new irrigation and drainage systems are being constructed on the current site of the former football practice fields.  The first phase of the project, which began on Monday, April 27, is being managed by Mid-America Sports Construction and Wildcat Construction and is anticipated to be completed by July, although it will take a full year for the Bermuda grass to grown in - which made this the perfect time to rebuild the fields as all of our 2015 away football games are on artificial surfaces.  As we explored all options for our soccer program, we wanted to find the location that will best serve our student-athletes and also provide the best experience for our fans.  This location will not only provide our soccer program with a new home but will also serve the practice needs of our football student-athletes while providing the long-term flexibility for further improvements and expansion in additional phases.  We appreciate everyone who has supported Coach Dibbini and our program by joining the Founder's Club.  Click here for more information on the project and how to support women's soccer.Student-Athletes Celebrate Annual Powercat Choice AwardsStudent-athletes from each of our programs gathered Wednesday evening for the sixth-annual Powercat Choice Awards.  The ceremony, for the student-athletes and put on by the student-athletes, resembles the ESPY Awards and includes all team and individual highlights from the past year both on the field and in the classroom.  All the performance-related awards were voted on by members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  The voting was based on the accomplishments of sporting teams from Spring 2014 to Winter 2015.  Click here for a video recap of the annual event.Baseball Hosts Oklahoma Heading Down Big 12 Stretch RunComing off a series win at home over Arkansas State, Coach Hill and baseball team will host Oklahoma at Tointon Family Stadium this weekend as they look to solidify their spot for the Big 12 Championships in Tulsa later this month.  The series kicks off at 6:30 p.m., tonight and continues at 2 p.m., Saturday and 1 p.m., Sunday.  Tonight's game will be televised by COX Kansas, while Saturday and Sunday matchups will air nationally on FOX College Sports.  Saturday will also be Senior Day as we honor Shane Conlon, Carter Yagi, Max Brown and Mark Biesma during their final home series as Wildcats.  Come out to Tointon this weekend and cheer on the Cats as they look to move up the league standings.Golf/Track and Field Round Out Weekend ActionAs I write this letter, women's golfer Madison Talley is wrapping up her second round in San Antonio where she is competing at the NCAA Regionals as an individual.  Best of luck to her in tomorrow's final round, and I also would like to congratulate Matt Green and Coach Robbins on Matt's selection to play in the NCAA Regionals for the men next week in San Diego.  Our only other team in action this weekend is track and field as both nationally-ranked teams head to Lincoln, Neb., to tune up for next weekend's Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Ames, Iowa.  Best of luck to all of our student-athletes this weekend, and be sure to follow all of the action at k-statesports.com or via Twitter (@kstatesports) and Facebook (K-State Sports).Before I close, I would like to recognize Rich and Rachel Macha of Wilmington, Delaware, as our newest Ahearn Fund members.  While all 10,000-plus of our members are critical to our goal of becoming a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, the significance of the Macha's pledge is that we can now proudly say that all 50 states are represented in the Ahearn Fund!  Thank you, Rich and Rachel, and thanks to all of our Ahearn Fund members for supporting our student-athletes - it truly is a NATIONAL fund for student-athlete excellence!Have a great weekend!Go Cats!John