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K-State Today

January 15, 2014

Letter from A.D. John Currie: Action-packed weekend ahead

Submitted by John Currie

Last month, I shared with you the story about one of our football fans suffering cardiac arrest at the Oklahoma game and the heroic efforts of nearby fans, staff and emergency personnel who helped save the individual’s life. During our recent men’s hoops game against Oklahoma State, we recognized both the individual recovering from the heart attack as well as those involved in the rescue effort. It was an emotional and inspirational time for everyone and illustrated how the K-State Family looks out for one another. Click for a recap of the event that aired on Kansas First News.

Two games and Pack the House set for Saturday
It will be an action-packed day on the K-State Manhattan campus Saturday. The track and field squads will get the day rolling with the Wildcat Invitational in Ahearn Field House before the men’s basketball team hosts Coach Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers at 12:30 p.m. inside Bramlage. Later that evening, Coach Patterson and our women’s team will host Iowa State at 7 p.m. in our Pack the House game for 2013-14. All tickets to the women’s game and selected concessions are only $1 – what a great outing for the whole family! Let’s pack Bramlage as K-State has won the Pack the Challenge initiative two out of the last three years! Also, make plans now to be in Bramlage Jan. 25 on Kansas 4-H night as the Cats host the Jayhawks. More than 1,700 4-H youths from across the state have already registered to attend. We appreciate their support of K-State women’s basketball!

1964 Final Four reunion this weekend, too
This weekend’s activities will also include a special reunion for the 1964 men’s basketball team that advanced to the Final Four. The weekend will kick off Friday with a reception for all former basketball lettermen before a breakfast in honor of the 1964 team will take place Saturday in the West Stadium Center. Fourteen members from the squad that went 22-7 will be back this weekend: Dick Barnard, Larry Berger, Bill Gettler, Joe Gottfrid, Tom Haas, Jim Hoffmann, Max Moss, John Olson, Lou Poma, Sammy Robinson, Jeff Simons, Roger Suttner, Larry Weigel and Coach Tex Winter. All of our basketball legends, including the 1964 squad, will be recognized during halftime of Saturday’s game with West Virginia. We are glad to have these pioneer members of our program back on campus!

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl wrap
As we close the books on the 2013 football season, which culminated with a convincing 31-14 win over Michigan – the winningest program in college football history – I would like to thank the K-State Nation for once again showing why you are the best fans in the country. With more than 15,000 fans in Sun Devil Stadium for the game, and 5,000 who attended the annual pep rally the day before, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl recorded its third-highest attendance ever in the 25-year history of the bowl. In fact, the crowd of 53,284 was the 13th-highest of all 35 bowls this season, ahead of traditional games such as the Holiday, Outback and Sun Bowls, and was nearly 10,000 more than the 2012 BWW Bowl. Also, based on this chart published recently on al.com, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl was the highest attended non-BCS bowl game where the majority of fans from both schools needed to fly to attend. This is a credit to the loyalty of our fans as well as the excitement both national brands created in the Arizona market. Thank you for your support of the 'Cats, and we can’t wait for the 2014 season to get here!

Football schedule update
We are very close to finalizing the 2014 football schedule, and as soon as the final pieces of the puzzle are put together, including some decisions and communications from our television partners, we will release the full slate. Again, I appreciate your patience throughout this process and as soon as the entire schedule is finalized we will release all 12 games in their entirety.

Kudos to the Voice of the Wildcats
Congrats to Voice of the Wildcats Wyatt Thompson, as he has been named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association for the second time in three years. I had the opportunity to listen to the full broadcast from TCU last week while I was driving along I-70 back to MHK after a day of appointments in Kansas City, and the professionalism and detail of the broadcast reminded me once again of the hard work and commitment of Wyatt and our entire broadcast team; they are the best in the business!

Student-athlete performance table officially opens its doors
Next Tuesday will be a special day for all 450 of our student-athletes as the new state-of-the-art Ahearn Fund Student-Athlete Performance Table at Bill Snyder Family Stadium officially opens its doors for service. Following a soft opening this fall which included numerous team and recruiting meals, the new facility will now meet the unique nutritional demands of ALL K-State student-athletes five days a week beginning Tuesday. The new performance table will cater to every nutritional need for each of K-State’s 16 athletic programs. Thanks to the efforts of many, including Michelle Sullivan, the performance table manager, executive chef Michael Moyes, and sports nutritionist Scott Trausch, the staff can help the student-athletes lead a healthy lifestyle while meeting their sports-specific nutritional goals. This transformational facility will be a difference maker for all of our programs!

MHK earns national recognition

I have always said that Manhattan is a classic American college town and we are so fortunate to live here. And others are taking notice as Manhattan was recently named by Movoto as the sixth most-exciting small city in America! Read the full story and listing of the Top 10!

Facility update
Each day that I pull into the parking lots of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, I am reminded how fortunate we are here at K-State to have a fan base, community and university that are all fully committed to our vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. With a quick glance of the new Intercollegiate Rowing Center, Basketball Training Facility and certainly the West Stadium Center, we have made tremendous progress toward our vision – but we still have work to do! We are currently working through conceptual plans of our master plan for Bill Snyder Family Stadium to evaluate our next steps. As we refine Phase III we are taking preliminary steps to focus on the audio/visual components of the stadium and Bramlage as it relates to video boards and sound systems, as well as some other key components of the fan and student-athlete experience, and are moving in the right direction to making dramatic improvements in these areas. We’re excited about the progress we are making, and stay tuned for more details as we move forward in the process.

Your continued support of the Ahearn Fund and our student-athletes has enabled us to drastically improve the experience for all Wildcat student-athletes, and we sincerely thank you for your commitment to K-State!

Go Cats!

John Currie