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Kansas State University
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News release prepared by: Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, 785-532-2535, ebarcomb@k-state.edu
Note to editor: A copy of the contract is available online at http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jan11/curriecontract.pdf

Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

K-STATE PRESIDENT KIRK SCHULZ ANNOUNCES NEW CONTRACT FOR ATHLETICS DIRECTOR JOHN CURRIE

MANHATTAN --Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz announced today that John Currie, K-State athletics director, has accepted a new contract, a move that recognizes Currie for his outstanding leadership and allows K-State Athletics to continue the stability and momentum provided since his appointment 18 months ago.

The agreement, retroactive to July 1, 2010, replaces the original contract signed in 2009 and secures Currie's services through June 30, 2016. Schulz said that Currie's annual salary of $350,000 remains unchanged but features an enhanced incentive structure. Upon successful completion of the last two years of the agreement, Currie will also receive a single lump sum payment of $150,000.

In addition, Currie can earn compensation -- capped at 75 percent of his base salary -- in performance-based bonuses related to the on-field successes of K-State's 16 intercollegiate sports.

"Since John joined the K-State family, he's been a tremendous partner," Schulz said. "When Nebraska and Colorado announced their plans to leave the Big 12, John worked hard on behalf of K-State and the conference. Under his leadership our student-athletes have continued to excel in the classroom, including once again earning the No. 1 all-sport graduation rate in the Big 12 for the fourth straight year. I expect even bigger and better things from John in the years to come."

"Mary Lawrence and I are very privileged to be a part of the K-State family and Manhattan community," Currie said. "President Schulz has a tremendous vision for this university with K-State 2025, and we appreciate his confidence and trust in us as we work to achieve our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program. We have great campus and athletics leadership teams that have really come together to help build some momentum these first 18 months. It's a wonderful time to be a K-Stater -- we have terrific coaches, dedicated student-athletes and the best fans in the country, and we're excited about what the future holds for our athletic program."

When Currie joined K-State in 2009 one of his first accomplishments was to emphasize transparency and accountability in K-State's athletics program. A month after he arrived he launched the K-State Pledge, a series of financial accountability measures and core values.

"John has done a great job of rebuilding confidence and trust in the athletic department," said John Vanier, a member of the Ahearn Fund's National Leadership Circle. "His transparency and willingness to discuss budgets, the financial conditions and his visionary plan have been very refreshing and have done a lot to restore confidence among our fan base."

K-State fans have also responded during Currie's tenure, setting ticket and attendance records in football, men's basketball, baseball and volleyball. Deb Patterson, women's basketball coach, said Currie has reinvigorated enthusiasm and commitment on the part of K-State's passionate fan base, including a push to build a basketball practice facility that will help student-athletes, coaches and programs.

"His positive attitude and his can-do expectation and energy are contagious to our staff and student-athletes alike," Patterson said.

Currie extends his enthusiasm beyond his offices in Bramlage Coliseum by reaching out to the rest of the K-State campus. He visits regularly with student organizations and college deans and serves on Schulz's cabinet.

"The support he has built within his department staff -- along with the credibility he has developed with the campus community and transparency with the fan base -- is a winning combination for K-State," said Rand Berney, Ahearn Fund and National Leadership Circle member.

Under Currie's leadership K-State achieved a record total for annual Ahearn Fund cash gifts in 2009-2010 at $14.47 million, announced plans for the construction of a new basketball training facility and secured new contracts for coaches Bill Snyder, Frank Martin, Brad Hill, Cliff Rovelto and Patterson.

"John's leadership has been beneficial to the success and development of our basketball program the past two years, and I appreciate his confidence in my staff and me to build this program into one of the best in the Big 12," Martin said. "I'm happy for John and his family that he was able to earn this extension of his contract. I look forward to working with him in the future as we continue to elevate our athletics program into one of the very best in the country."