Letter from A.D. John Currie - January 7

Did you know that the Alamo Bowl had the seventh-highest bowl attendance of all bowl games this year?  And, Big 12 fans made their presence and passion known as four of the top seven bowl crowds were games featuring teams from our league.  I cannot tell you how many times we were reminded in San Antonio of the first-class operation of our football program - from hotel staff to flight attendants to bowl personnel and even local citizens - and I couldn't be more proud of our coaches, staff and student-athletes for the way they represented K-State.  We knew the support from the K-State Nation would be terrific, but the packed pep rally crowd of more than 10,000 fans and the game attendance were clear testaments to the San Antonio community and the millions of viewers on ESPN that the Wildcat Nation is as strong as ever.On team bus No. 3 to and from the game I had the good fortune of sitting next to Kevin Saunders, a longtime friend of Coach Snyder and K-State Athletics who was paralyzed years ago in a grain elevator accident and now is a nationally-renown motivational speaker and paralympian.  So as we waited for our players to load up it was Kevin who said it best, "John, regardless of the score, the inner strength of a champion never allows quitting, and our team never stopped fighting to win."  You can read more about Kevin's story at www.kevinsaunders.com.Following Friday's game, radio color analyst Stan Weber and I left the team hotel around 3:30 a.m. to catch a flight to DFW and Oklahoma City, so that we could make the quick drive up to Stillwater in time for Saturday's men's basketball game.  And again, at both airports we ran into numerous Wildcat fans who were either on their way home from the bowl game or making it a double-dip by making a stop in Stillwater on their way back home.  Truly the best fans in America!Let's continue on with a few more updates, beginning with some sad news about one of our true legends.Basketball Legend Jack Parr Passes AwayI was saddened Sunday night when I heard the news that K-State basketball legend and my friend Jack Parr had passed away at the age of 78 in his home in Lindsborg.  Jack was a true K-Stater, one that deeply cared about his alma mater, and he will be missed.  Not only was he an All-America and Hall of Famer on the court, but he was even a better person.  Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, Ann, and the entire Parr family. Click here for full details.Tune in for Today's Formal Introduction of Coach Dibbini as Soccer Coach After our December announcement of Mike Dibbini being named our first women's soccer head coach, we are excited to formally introduce him and the entire Dibbini family at a 3 p.m. press conference today at the K-State Alumni Center - due to the Vanier Complex construction and the transition of the football coaching and academic staffs into the West Stadium Center, we thought it would be cool to hold the news conference at the Alumni Center with beautiful Memorial Stadium as a natural backdrop!  For those who cannot attend the press conference, which is open to the public, be sure and tune in live to K-StateHD.TV to watch.  Click here for a recap of our announcement of Coach Dibbini's hiring.  I know he is excited to hit the ground running, and we look forward to all of the K-State Nation being able to meet the entire Dibbini family.  The crowd at the women's basketball game last night had an advance introduction of Coach Dibbini with a rousing round of applause.  He and his family will be recognized at tonight's men's game as well.Bricks from Vanier Complex SalvagedWe announced last week that many of the old recognition bricks that were located in the entry plaza of the Vanier Complex have been salvaged and can be picked up by respective donors.  These bricks are now located on the east side of Bill Snyder Family Stadium between Gates S and T.  The bricks have been placed on separate pallets by alphabetical order and can be picked up any time before Friday, January 16.  Although many bricks were saved, there were some that could not be salvaged.  We cannot guarantee that all personal bricks are available from the Northeast walkway, but all donors are welcome to stop by at their convenience and look within the above mentioned time frame.  We also remain committed to recognizing all previous donors on a prominent recognition wall located within the new Vanier Family Football Complex grand atrium and entranceway.  The Ahearn Fund is available to answer any questions fans may have regarding this new recognition or the salvaged bricks and can be reached at 888-232-9074 or ahearnfund@kstatesports.com.Heading to the NCAA Convention - Calling All D.C. Area CatsNext weekend's NCAA convention will be historic as many of the autonomy measures affecting student-athletes in the five high visibility conferences including the Big 12 will be considered.  While in DC, Senior Associate AD Chad Weiberg and I will escape the convention hall for a few hours to attend a special K-State Alumni Social event which will be held January 16 at the Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant from 5:30 - 7 p.m. We hope all Wildcats in the Washington, D.C., area will attend. Click here for more details, and registration is open through Monday, January 12.Big 12 Basketball Heating Up in Bramlage Coliseum!On both the men's and women's side the Big 12 is tougher and more exciting than ever.  Coach Weber and the men's team are working hard and excited to be back in the Octagon of Doom for tonight's Big 12 matchup with TCU.  A reminder that we will have a later 8 p.m. start time tonight and we look forward to having a great crowd for the nationally televised contest on ESPNews against the 13-1 Horned Frogs.  Bundle up and come on over - with our students not yet back in town from break tickets are available both at www.kstatesports.com and at the walk-up window including a Wildcat4Pack for $75.  Following last night's tough loss to No. 5 Baylor, Coach Mittie and the 10-3 women's team will host the Jayhawks at Bramlage on Sunday afternoon.  Be sure and come out for the 1 p.m. game and bring the whole family!  Click here for more information.Finally, we wish Coach Rovelto and the track and field teams the best of luck this week as they travel to Lawrence for the Bill Easton Classic.  You can follow k-statesports.com for results and stories on all of our programs.That will do it for today. We look forward to seeing you in Bramlage Coliseum tonight for our 8 p.m. tipoff against TCU.Go Cats!John