SE | Purple Pride: Sports Extra Enters New Hands

Greetings, K-State Family.

Wow. Just typing that gave me goose bumps.

I am your new K-State Sports Extra writer, a position Mark Janssen and Kelly McHugh-Stewart built into something truly special. I cannot wait to continue the stellar work they began.

First, I’ll give you a brief background on myself.

I come from a family of purple. My parents, who met on a blind date at a K-State/KU football game, graduated as Wildcats in 1980. My two brothers, who also met their wives in Manhattan, received their college diplomas in Bramlage before I did so in 2014 from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Simply put, K-State has been in my blood long before I learned how to Wabash at football games.

Speaking of football, I attended K-State games before I learned to ride a bike. Michael Bishop, Jarrod Cooper, David Allen, Rock Cartwright, Terrence Newman, Quincy Morgan and Darren Sproles are among some of the first Wildcats I remember watching in what now stands as Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

My college experience (2010-14) encompassed one of the highest peaks in K-State Athletics history. Lucky me, right?

I witnessed Heisman finalist Collin Klein bulldoze the Wildcats to a Big 12 title in 2012. The night K-State clinched the conference title against Texas, with Willie the Wildcat standing on top of the since-demolished Dev Nelson Press Box as fog rolled into the deafeningly loud stadium, is a moment I will not forget.  

Rodney McGruder and Bruce Weber then raised the excitement level by securing K-State’s first conference title in men’s basketball in 30-plus years. A few months later, Brad Hill’s baseball squad hit its way to the program’s first Big 12 regular season championship – K-State’s first conference title since 1933 – which was followed by a regional title at Tointon Family Stadium.

It was a school year to remember, to say the least.

In my four-year stay in Manhattan, I covered K-State sports for the K-State Collegian and Topeka Capital-Journal along with writing a few stories for Powercat Illustrated. Along the way, I watched, learned and grew around some seriously talented journalists.

I am now blessed to be able to work around K-State’s outstanding Athletic Communications staff. I would like to thank them, along with K-State Athletics Director John Currie, for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to working with you all.

K-State’s coaching staffs throughout the athletic department are largely the same as when I graduated and went on to work at the Emporia Gazette, where I’ve been the past two years covering Emporia State, Emporia High and an array of area schools. I am beyond excited to work closely with each program once again to unveil the greatest stories K-State has to offer, a list that seems to get longer each year.

But enough about me. Let’s cover what’s to come in the near future, and there are plenty of exciting stories ahead for the K-State Family.

Head track and field coach Cliff Rovelto will assist the U.S. Olympic Team in the upcoming Games in Rio de Janeiro, and he will bring a few Wildcats – former and present – with him to compete.

The men’s basketball team will also take the K-State brand outside of the United States, as it is scheduled to compete in Italy and Switzerland for a five-game set in August. Jeff Mittie’s women’s team adds even more talent and experience from last year’s run to the postseason, raising the bar a notch higher for 2016-17.

In early August, the inaugural K-State women’s soccer training camp will begin in preparation for the program’s first official match against Saint Louis.

Also, in case you missed it: three-time national coach of the year Jerry Kill, who I’ve heard nothing but compliments about, is now a Wildcat, plugging another great mind into the athletic department.

And we have not even touched on the football program yet, which will start the season with a nationally-televised road trip to Palo Alto, California, against Pac-12 power Stanford on Friday, Sept. 2. When the Wildcats open their home schedule against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 17, they will do so in, again, an upgraded Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The list goes on and on.

I hope you enjoy reading about the truly unique athletes and their stories throughout K-State, and I’m eager to start bringing them to your inbox.


Corbin McGuire