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K-State Today

September 22, 2016



K-State's Currie to speak on Knight Commission panel in nation's capital

By Kenny Lannou

K-State Athletics Director John Currie, whose seven-plus years as athletics director has produced record growth and financial stability along with outstanding academic performance and athletic accomplishment, has been invited to be a featured participant at next month's Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Knight Commission, which promotes reforms to emphasize the educational mission of college athletics, will discuss ways to ensure focus is maintained at a time of big changes in college sports with the possibility of more radical changes to come.

A 2013 UnderArmour AD of the Year award winner, Currie and his K-State leadership team have turned an inherited budget deficit into national acclaim as one of the NCAA's most financially solvent programs and completed $210 million in comprehensive facility improvements benefitting all 16 Wildcat teams, all privately funded with zero state tax or university tuition dollars.

In the midst of a transformational and challenging time for intercollegiate athletics, which includes many prominent schools across the country recently reporting annual operating deficits and ballooning debt, the collective support of nearly 250,000 K-State friends and alumni across the country and around the world has enabled the department to experience among the most successful seven-year periods in its history.

K-State student-athletes have shined academically as all programs remain above the NCAA .930 APR standard with eight teams leading the Big 12 in last two years, including football. K-State's all-sports graduation rate also currently exceeds that of the general student body.

On the field, Currie's seven-year tenure has included six straight bowl berths under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Snyder, team Big 12 Championships in football in 2012, men's basketball in 2013 and baseball in 2013, 16 team NCAA tournament appearances in men's and women's basketball, volleyball and baseball and 50 individual Big 12 and nine individual NCAA Championships.

Since 2009, K-Staters have contributed more than $200 million in outright gifts, all of which has been directly invested toward K-State's Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. K-State Athletics remains one of just a few dozen universities nationwide, and the only institution in Kansas, to operate without use of state tax or university tuition dollars. Direct and indirect university support of athletics was 6.1 percent of the KSA budget in FY10. In FY16 it became zero.

Follow @KnightAthletics for the latest developments from this meeting, and photographs and highlights will be posted on knightcommission.org following the event.