Letter from A.D. John Currie - July 10

Today also marks the five-year anniversary of our K-State Pledge. It was on July 10, 2009, (click here to see that announcement) that we first introduced the pledge and unveiled our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program and our five core goals of:A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience.Value to Our University, Community and State.Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance.Championship Athletic Performances.The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12.Last summer, we covered each of these goals and highlighted the progress that we have made toward our vision, and we have taken even further steps this past year. I am proud of our coaches, staff, fans and student-athletes for all doing their part!It would be difficult to cover everything that we have accomplished over the past five years, but I would like to take a moment to provide a snapshot of some of the highlights. Later this summer we will publish our 2013-14 Annual Report, which will not only highlight our achievements from this past year but also the past five years.Goal 1: A World-Class Student-Athlete ExperienceNew facilities include the new West Stadium Center at BSFS, Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.Expanded the staffs in life skills, academics, sports medicine, and strength and conditioning to increase individual attention for student-athletes.Opened the new Ahearn Fund Student-Athlete Performance Table in West Stadium Center and hired a dedicated sports nutritionist.Held a reunion weekend for every K-State athletics team over the last five years.Shared the great stories of all K-State student-athletes through the daily K-State Sports Extra newsletter. Formalized and expanded opportunities for student-athlete feedback through exit interviews and end-of-year surveys, continually improving our marks for student-athlete satisfaction over five years. Rewarded teams with Wildcat Cup recognition tracking achievement by student-athletes in personal, academic, athletic, career and service achievement. Upgraded practice, training and competition facilities for all sports including a new turf surface at Tointon Family Stadium and Colbert Hills Clubhouse.Fundraising has been completely overhauled with more than $143 million in actual gifts raised for K-State Athletics in five years.Goal 2: Value to Our University, Community and StatePresident Kirk Schulz's leadership has helped maintain K-State's place in the national landscape of collegiate athletics through service on the Big 12 and NCAA Board of Directors as well as the NCAA Executive Committee.Expanded season ticket fan base to 46 states nationally leading to increased economic impact from visitors to home athletics events.Generated work for local sub-contractors and business for Manhattan hotels, restaurants, and stores with over $125 million in athletics facility projects.Collected and transferred over $6.5 million in sales tax to state of Kansas over five years.Eliminated $1.6 million in annual direct university support since February of 2010 and after FY2015 will annually receive zero direct or indirect university support.Goal 3: Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA CompliancePublished an annual budget card each year for fans, donors, and other stakeholders as part of our pledge to transparency.Operated with a budget surplus in all five years, allowing for annual investments into key program investments and annual budget growth from $44 million to $60 million.Included all contractual details in coaching announcements on www.kstatesports.com.Have taken a proactive approach in following University, Big 12 Conference and NCAA rules, including transition to new compliance software, monthly coaches meetings and education of all staff resulting in no major violations over five years.Made enhancements aimed at improving opportunities for female student-athletes, including Mike Goss Tennis Stadium, Intercollegiate Rowing Center, Basketball Training Facility, clubhouse and locker room at Colbert Hills, upgrades at Ahearn Field House, R.V. Christian Track Complex, and Timbercreek Stables. Goal 4: Championship Athletic Performances99 All-Americans, 133 All-Big 12 honors, 30 Big 12 championships and five national titles. 459 Academic All-Big 12 selections and 37 Academic All-Americans. Elite 89 and 88 Awards for highest NCAA GPA by Ryann Krais and Alyssa Bellinder.All Wildcat programs have remained well above the NCAA .930 APR standard with five teams currently leading the Big 12 (FB, M/W Golf and M/W CC).Epic 2012-13 year with Big 12 Championships in football, men's basketball and baseball.Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, two-time National Coach of the Year Bill Snyder, four bowl appearances and a 42-22 overall record in football.Men's basketball's elite eight appearance and five straight NCAA tournament bids.Volleyball Sweet Sixteen appearance including a dramatic win over Nebraska in Lincoln.Two-time NCAA National Champion and Olympic high jump silver medalist Erik Kynard.Baseball's NCAA Regional Championship victory in Manhattan.Have recruited three proven winners as head coaches to Manhattan all of who had won conference championships and coach of the year honors at previous institutions, including 2013 Big 12 men's basketball coach of the year Bruce Weber.Goal 5: The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12Developed a customer-first culture, including "Welcome to K-State" greeting throughout all K-State Athletics facilities and events.Invested in facility improvements that benefitted fans directly including east view-level restrooms at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (2011), seating and safety enhancements at Ahearn Field House (2010, 2012) and outdoor track (2012).Launched K-StateHD.TV in August 2011 and have grown the network into the No. 1 digital network among all CBS college sports properties.Completed Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan, installing a Hall of Honor, doubling concessions points of sale and restrooms, improving walkway and leisure space along the south end zone plaza, and resurfaced the east parking lots.Initiated a comprehensive fan feedback program including post-game surveys, "Tell John" email accessibility, and focus on issue resolution and responsiveness.Steadily increased home football attendance, selling out season tickets for two consecutive years (2013, 2014) and generating 21 home sellouts in 2011, 2012 and 2013.   So, what do you think is next for K-State Athletics?  Shoot me an email and give me your thoughts.  And remember the grass-roots support and personal engagement of the K-State Nation has been, and will continue to be, the driving factor in achieving our vision of being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. We will continue to work hard every day to provide our student-athletes a world-class experience, and we thank you for everything that you do in support of them!Have a great rest of the week, and......Go Cats!