Letter from A.D. John Currie - June 22

The Catbacker Tour Rolls On! We had an awesome crowd at Hutchinson last night - it was fun to talk personally with so many of our passionate and loyal fans. Tonight we'll be in Great Bend and then on to Emporia Thursday. Great Bend and Hutch were my first Catbacker events when I arrived 24 months ago - our fans, student-athletes and coaches have accomplished so much since then - and I know we can do even more together! Senior OT Zach Hanson was the featured student-athlete last night and he did a great job in his on-stage "interview" with Wyatt Thompson. Zach is finishing his bachelor's degree right now and will be another one in a long line of Coach Snyder's student-athletes to compete in their senior season as a graduate student! Coaches Martin and Patterson had great energy and enthusiasm - indeed another one of my favorite things about the Catbacker Tour is watching our coaches and fans being able to unwind and connect on a personal level. Each and every one of you makes a difference for our 465 student-athletes by participating in the Ahearn Fund, and I appreciate the continued focus of our grass-roots support by our fans and supporters nation-wide. Vince Gibson Update Some of you may already be aware that former football coach Vince Gibson was recently diagnosed with ALS. We all wish the best for Coach Gibson, his wife Cecile and his family and are praying for them as they battle this difficult disease. It was great to have Coach Gibson back in Manhattan last September - he has told me several times since about how much the warm reception of our packed stadium meant to him that day. Ernie and Bonnie Barrett and a number of other friends of Coach Gibson from around the country will gather in New Orleans this weekend for a party in his honor. Staying Connected I'm pleased with the progress that our communications and internet staff have made over the past year in dramatically increasing options for our fans to stay connected with K-State Athletics. For instance, I was traveling during the NCAA track and field championships, but was able to follow all our student-athletes thanks to the regular Twitter updates I was receiving. Please help us spread the word to the entire Wildcat nation - we are finalizing even more steps in this regard so be sure to encourage your K-State friends to stay connected with K-State Athletics by clicking here for our FREE daily K-State Sports Extra email at k-statesports.com for all of the latest news and features on Wildcat Athletics.  Every day more social media fans sign up to follow K-State on Twitter (@kstatesports) and Facebook (K-State Sports).   Check out some of our new Twitter features like Throwback Thursday's and Follow Friday's - pretty neat stuff!! Football Tickets Sales Strong! We are grateful for the proactive and positive support of all our fans - and proud to announce that football season ticket sales are up by almost 500 tickets versus this time last year. We hope K-State fans who have not yet purchased season tickets will help continue that momentum.  Remember that we have $10 tickets to the K-State Family Reunion home opener against Eastern Kentucky - but you need to purchase by June 30 to get this special rate. Let's have our third straight opening game sell-out on September 3rd! Also, for those interested in the Miami game at Sun Life Stadium on September 24, the Alumni Association has travel packages remaining - so click here for more information. And Basketball and Volleyball too! Renewal applications for volleyball have been mailed and are due back on July 1, while men's and women's basketball tickets can be renewed online with several early order incentives for purchases by July 15. Paper renewal statements will be mailed to basketball season ticket holders next week. Contact our ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit our new and improved ticket site at k-statesports.com for more information. I know our fans our anxious to see our final 2011-12 men's basketball schedule which features every one of our NINE Big 12 conference foes in Bramlage Coliseum and exciting match-ups against West Virginia in Wichita and Alabama in Kansas City - as soon as we get our tentative game times from the conference office we'll get it out to all our fans. That's it for today - we are working hard to get ready for the 2011-12 athletics season following our tremendous success across the board in 2010-11. Thanks for all you do in support of K-State student-athletes - we'll see you in Great Bend tonight! Go Cats! John Currie Director of Athletics