Letter from A.D. John Currie - September 22

K-State's sixth-ranked equestrian team scored a huge upset on Friday over No. 2 South Carolina and is now 11-1 in home contests at Timbercreek Stables since the start of the 2012-13 season. You can click here for a video recap. Next up for the Cats is New Mexico State on Thursday.This past weekend also marked the official beginning of the Danielle Steinberg era of K-State Tennis as the Cats picked up 13 singles wins and five doubles victories at the OU Fall Invite in Norman. Interestingly, six of our wins were over Jayhawks!A weekend that includes victories over Michigan, South Carolina and the Jayhawks is definitely Model Intercollegiate Athletics kind of stuff! Let's keep it rolling.MHK Puts Best Foot ForwardLast Thursday night's football game against No. 5 Auburn certainly provided all the excitement and visibility for the community that we anticipated. I was so proud of our coaches and team for putting together an excellent game plan and competing with incredible intensity until the final whistle. Obviously it was disappointing not to win, but I believe we have a special group of student-athlete leadership on this team which I know is working very hard to rebound this weekend against UTEP.The game provided a unique opportunity for our entire university and community as national media and thousands of Auburn fans and staff members made their first trip to Manhattan, and let me tell you, the K-State Nation did not disappoint. The sellout crowd, the fifth largest in our history, including an overflowing student section, was simply remarkable, passionate and loud THE ENTIRE GAME! I can't tell you how many visiting fans, staff members and media members in attendance commented - either through emails, conversation or via social media - about their experience in Manhattan and at the stadium. I have received emails and texts from friends in athletics across the country who were among the nearly 4 million nationwide viewers raving about the impression our students and fans have made. The Wabash Cannonball is becoming among the most recognized student traditions in the country!Among the many nice notes I have received was this one, Friday morning, from Karen Streeter, a Manhattan resident and business operator: "We had the privilege of serving a number of Auburn fans at Vista Drive-In, Kansas Kollection and Baskin Robbins during their stay -- and they are still here eating Friday breakfast. Here's just some comments we've heard: They think K-State is wonderful -- they couldn't believe how friendly everyone was, how impressed they were with the facilities and the campus and town in general. Harley Day was special to them. They couldn't believe the loudness of the stadium and how K-Staters yelled the entire game, not just on critical 3rd downs. A number of fans said we wish we could come back and K-State is now their #2 team. As long-time residents and fans thank you for everything you have done to help facilitate these comments and make K-State the inviting place it is."To me, this is yet another example of our community's embracement of Coach Snyder's Goal No. 3 - UNITY. Thank you for being such great fans! Let's do it again Saturday when we take on UTEP at 11 a.m. - sellout No. 16 in a row!Pullen ReturnsI wish all K-State fans could have heard the excitement in Jacob Pullen's voice when I spoke with him via telephone Wednesday prior to his return to Manhattan on Thursday! It was great to see the huge ovation our all-time leading men's basketball scorer received on Wagner Field during the game. Jacob was joined on the field by other former K-State players including Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving, while last year's seniors Will Spradling and Ryan Schultz were part of the recognition for our 2014 NCAA Tournament team. Jacob, Jordan, Martavious, Will, Shane Southwell and Omari Lawrence are all GRADUATES of K-State - Ryan is finishing up this year. The 2014-15 season is right around the corner and season tickets, as well as tickets to our December 20 game against Texas A&M at Sprint Center, are going fast. Be sure and contact our ticket office or visit k-statesports.com to secure your tickets now!Michael Smith Named Head Coach at ArmyA bittersweet recognition on Thursday evening also received a wonderful ovation recognizing 20 years of loyal service by cross country coach Michael Smith, who has been named the new head coach and director of track and field and cross country at Army. Coach Smith has been a loyal assistant to Coach Rovelto and an integral part of the success our track and field program has seen over the past two decades, and we certainly wish the Smith family the best as they make this step and begin this new chapter of their lives. On Saturday our team had an inspired performance in Coach's Smith's final meet with Laura Galvan scoring a fifth-place finish as both the men's and women's teams finished fourth overall at the Big Ten Preview. Click here for our full announcement on Coach Smith.Berney Family Welcome Center Groundbreaking and Packed House in McCainFriday was a busy day, too, as I visited with recruits from a number of sports, spent a fun hour briefing the KSU Foundation Trustees on the athletics program and then ran home to pick up Mary Lawrence for two evening events. First, we hit Memorial Stadium's east side for the ground-breaking of a longtime dream of legendary vice-president Pat Bosco, the Berney Family Welcome Center. You can click here to learn more about all this new facility will offer. Rand, Patti and their children are wonderful K-Staters. Their leadership pledge in 2011 included allocations comprising the largest gift to the Basketball Training Facility (along with the Jim Johnson family), and the first major gift for the Welcome Center. They are a great example of embracing the big picture of academics and athletics working together at K-State.Because Mary Lawrence and I grabbed a quick dinner after the ground-breaking, we were a few minutes late to Eric Stonestreet's packed show at McCain. A word to the wise - don't be late to a comedian's show! Actually Eric laughed pretty hard after the show when I told him it was us that he and Modern Family co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson had called out as we walked in. I didn't mind him making fun of us - I just hope he doesn't tell Coach Snyder we were late! The show itself was hilarious - and we always appreciate how Eric constantly promotes K-State in all his activities.Golf Hits the RoadFollowing a week of practice this week, both of our golf teams will be back in action next week with the men's team heading to Columbus, Ohio, for the Jack Nicklaus Invitational, while the women will be playing in the Johnie Imes Invitational in Columbia, Missouri. Both tournaments will be played September 29-30.Game Time Set for K-State/Texas TechJust as I am finishing this letter we have learned that the October 4 home game versus Texas Tech will kick off at 6 p.m., and be televised nationally on ESPNU.Have a great week and we'll see you Thursday at equestrian, 11 a.m., Saturday for football vs. UTEP and then 7 p.m., Saturday in Ahearn for K-State volleyball's conference opener vs Baylor!Go Cats!John