Sep 7, 2013
K-State Director of Athletics John Currie
“Welcome to K-State we are delighted to have you here, delighted that you all made it. I know that we have tennis alumni that are here from as far away as Switzerland for this event and for this weekend and that, of course, is very special. I want to recognize the architects of this project, Bowman, Bowman and Novick and Ron Fowles the contractor that labored so long to build this facility. I want to thank the Kansas Board of Regents and Dr. Andy Tompkins for their support. I also want to recognize Steve Martini. When you talk about K-State being about students there is no person on this campus that is more passionate about students and student wellness and student access to better facilities than Steve Martini. He is one of the classic people at Kansas State University who has worked for years and years and years without any credit or desiring any credit and a lot of times without many resources to provide a better environment for our students. I believe it is said that 90 percent of Kansas State University students at some point utilize the campus recreation services. We talk about wellness in our country, lifestyles, choices, and developing good choices it starts right here. Steve is a tireless servant to our needs at Kansas State.”
Kansas State Senior Vice President/Provost Dr. April Mason
“This is the second time in two weeks that we have been in the sun and having fun dedicating our new facilities. I want to thank everyone for being here to celebrate with us this morning, this is indeed a momentous time. I want to give a sincere thanks to Mike Goss, Becky and other members of the Goss family for all of their contributions to Kansas State University. The Goss family has contributed to the scholarship fund, they have made contributions to our international programs area and of course to athletics exemplified by this wonderful facility. Mike gives his time as well as his resources to Kansas State. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of KSU Foundation and we always appreciate his ideas and contributions. Mike is a 1981 graduate of Kansas State with a degree in Economics and was a member of our men's tennis team. He is now the managing director of Bain Capital in New York. His love of tennis truly goes very, very deep, as he currently serves on the board of directors for the Tennis Channel 24 hour-a-day cable network. He is also on the executive committee for the International Hall-of-Fame in Rhode Island. Today we honor Mike Goss for his wonderful contribution to Kansas State and to Kansas State Athletics.”
Head Coach Steve Bietau
“Good morning and what a day this is. I particularly want to welcome all our alums, many of who traveled so far to be here today. There is not a group more important or more fitting to be here and to share this special day with us. There was reference to John (Currie) coming here about four and a half or five years ago, and I believe that it was John’s first week on campus when we sat down to talk about the women’s tennis program, where it was and where we hoped it might go and what were some of the challenges that we were facing. Obviously at the top of the list was the facility issue. I remember clearly John saying to me, ‘I know this facility is a challenge for us but we are going to work on this and we are going to solve this problem but it is going to take a little time. I will admit that over the last four and a half years, I have had a few moments of frustration and impatience, but as I look around today at this beautiful facility, I can honestly say that it was worth every minute of the wait.
As the tennis coach of K-State standing here on a day like this, I have a lot of people to thank and they have been thanked many times today and rightfully so. Wamego has been mentioned a couple of times, and while I have to admit that was not the greatest experience at times, I did appreciate some of the frustrations that some of our Southern guests felt as they visited that facility. We will not mention any names but that part of it was ok. Our program was in trouble and we did not have a place to play and the folks in Wamego reached out to us and gave us a helping hand so we could be in a stronger position like the one that you see today. I want to start by thanking everyone from Wamego and the friends that we have made over the last few years.
Next, Steve Martini and his staff were our partners in this project, and you have heard it mentioned, but you can see that this is not just a tennis facility. This is something that is going to be used, and obviously important for our team as we practice and compete here, but it is also going to be used by all students at K-State. In addition to that, we have what I think is one of the best facilities for tennis fans that you are hopefully enjoying today.
The vision for this facility, an on-campus facility that would be shared-used and that everyone would benefit from, certainly has to be credited to President Schulz and Athletic Director Currie, so I want to acknowledge them in guiding us in the right direction. Selfishly, I think coaches often want their own place that they can control, because we are all control freaks if you did not know, but this was the right move for K-State and I am confident that this was the right move for our team. As John said, this facility now lets us talk about a world-class student athlete experience. I can look all of our players in the eye and honestly use that term, so John, I appreciate that very much.
Finally, I would obviously like to thank Mike Goss and his family for their contribution. What was interesting to me was that I called John up a couple of days ago to talk to him just a little bit about Mike and I was aware of some of the areas that Mike had helped this university. But after that conversation, my eyes were really open to all of the areas that Mike and Becky Goss have supported K-State. Obviously from the tennis program, we want to thank him. From all of our players, our staff and myself, I want thank Mike and Becky Goss for everything they do at K-State.
Senior and two-time All-American Petra Niedermayerova
“It is now more than a year ago that I played on Wamego’s center count against a top-10 player from Baylor. This match was like a Shakespearean tragedy with me keeping hopes up for a happy ending, but after more than three hours of the game in hot weather, I was defeated. I lived some of the worst moments of my tennis career throughout this match, both physically and mentally. What I perceived as a heroic effort was witnessed by, at most, three devoted fans. If I would have played that match in this new facility, I know some parts of that match would have been different. I might have still ended up losing, that is hard to say, but all of the seats that you see and sit on would have had the potential to be filled with K-State students and tennis fans that just do not have enough time to drive all the way to Wamego. I truly believe that such a strong unit as the K-State family matters; it gets translated to energy on the court and helps us win more matches or at least makes our opponents jealous. This year is a revolution for the K-State tennis program. Manhattan will find out what tennis is all about and I as a tennis player, along with my teammates will be able to enjoy playing in a home facility fighting for K-State in a facility on campus, in a way that we want college athletics to look like. I would like to thank all of the people who took part in this project and a special thanks to Mike Goss, who helped make this dream come true.”
Project Contributor Mike Goss
“It has been such fun this weekend, in large part to the reunion festivities. I have been able to see a lot of teammates who have meant a lot to me over the years. I have got to spend some real quality time with coach Snodgrass yesterday, which was quite fun and touching for me. I have been really impressed with the women that I have met both the current team as well as those who have traveled long distances to be here, so it has been really fun. We have more fun planned for this afternoon as most of the former tennis players are meeting at a tailgate party prior to the game, so I am sure that we will have more fun ahead of us.
I do have to relay two instances that occurred last night at the reunion festivities. The first was when a couple of women’s alumni came up to me and said ‘You are Mike Goss? Who the heck are you? Are you some kind of former star from the men’s team?’ As John said so prominently by not mentioning my record at all, I think we know the answer to that. I think there would be some kind of bronze statue someplace if it was indeed about athletic performance.
Then I had one of my teammates, who when he got the invitation to today, he called his brother and knowing full well that this was not about my athletic accomplishments said ‘Oh my God, did Mike Goss die?’ So happily, that is not the case.
Since we have eliminated two reasons why the stadium would be named after me, why exactly is it? I think it boils down to this, I have been very fortunate in my life and I was able to turn around and smile upon K-State when good fortune smiled upon me. I think looking for a way to thank me, Kansas State has generously tried to thank me in a way knowing that one of the most important things in my affiliation with K-State was athletics and tennis in particular, so they have chose to honor me in this wonderful way. It was a truly remarkable experience for me in every respect, not only was it fun, it was character building. I developed life-long friendships and learned life-long lessons from coach Snodgrass and my teammates. It has been part of my identity that I am so proud of.
I remembered the day that I went to pick up my letter jacket. It was May of 1980 and my car was all packed up and I was on my way back home to Great Bend for the summer. I packed my car and I walked into the Athletic Department in Ahearn Field House and some little blue-haired lady went in the back and got it and handed it to me and I could not have been more proud. I am as proud that day as I am this day, but that day was a little more private.
My message really boils down to that K-State has been a huge part of my life. It has made me happy and prosperous. It has been a major contributor to my success and tennis was a big part of my K-State experience. For K-State to name this facility for me, I am absolutely humbled by it. It is a thank you well beyond what is necessary or appropriate but I am glad to see it done, especially while I am still alive.”