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K-State Today

June 7, 2012

Athletics Director John Currie's contract extended through 2018 academic year

Submitted by Kenny Lannou

Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz announced yesterday that Athletics Director John Currie has signed a contract extension through the 2018 academic year, a move that recognizes the success of the department under Currie's leadership while providing continuity as K-State surges forward toward its vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program.
The agreement adds two years to his current contract, securing Currie’s services through June 30, 2018. Schulz said that Currie’s annual salary will be $450,000 for 2012-13 and will increase by $25,000 for each remaining year on the contract. The extension also includes an enhanced retention incentive structure.
"John has provided tremendous leadership for our athletics department and entire university family since his arrival in 2009,” Schulz said. “Over the last three years, our student-athletes have enjoyed unprecedented success in the classroom and on the playing field, the department has seen record fundraising and a dramatic increase in members of the Ahearn Fund and over $100 million in facility improvements benefiting all of our 16 sports are underway. Great days are ahead for K-State as a member of the Big 12 Conference, and John’s continued leadership and vision will enhance our position as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics.”
"Mary Lawrence, our children and I are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the K-State family and live in the great college community of Manhattan," Currie said. “Thanks to the efforts of President Schulz and his K-State 2025 vision, our terrific coaches, support staff, loyal fans and donors, and, most importantly, over 400 dedicated student-athletes, we have made tremendous progress toward our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program and enjoyed across-the-board success over the past three years. And now, with the support of the K-State Nation, we have to continue to take strides forward to maintain and build upon our competitive future as a national leader in college athletics.”
Since Currie’s introduction as Director of Athletics on May 18, 2009, K-State’s intercollegiate program has experienced an unprecedented combination of athletic, academic and administrative accomplishments and national attention.
With the vision and support of Schulz, the re-earned trust of Wildcat fans nationwide and the efforts of K-State’s outstanding coaching staff, Currie’s rebuilt senior leadership team has earned national acclaim by turning an inherited annual deficit into one of the NCAA’s most financially solvent programs, initiated $100 million in comprehensive athletic facility improvements and launched K-StateHD.TV, the nation’s No. 1 premium digital network, all while navigating the tumultuous waters of conference realignment and helping the Big 12 emerge ready for a new era of excellence.
“John has been a tremendous leader and ambassador for the athletics department and the entire university community,” said Carl Ice, President of BNSF Railway Company and Ahearn National Leadership Circle member. “His enthusiasm and tireless commitment to the vision and goals of the department have positively impacted the Wildcat Nation, and I am confident in the future of K-State Athletics.”
K-State's fundraising efforts have been overhauled during Currie’s tenure with an emphasis on grass roots support, personal interaction and communication for Ahearn Fund donors of all levels. K-State supporters immediately responded in Currie's first year by increasing total annual fund cash gifts more than 50 percent versus the previous year to an all-time high of $14.47 million. Fiscal year 2011 was even better as total athletics giving set another all-time record exceeding $17.5 million, while a new record total is pending as with three weeks remaining in fiscal year 2012 the department has already exceeded the $20 million mark. Additionally, the Ahearn Fund has grown by more than 2,500 members since Currie’s arrival and pushed past the 8,000 mark this past month.
K-State donors have stepped up with 11 private gifts in excess of $1 million since fall 2009, enabling the department to begin construction in 2011 on the $18 million Basketball Training Facility and building momentum towards the department's new comprehensive facility improvement benefitting all 444 Wildcat student-athletes. On April 28, 2012, ground was broken for Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan thanks to a national effort that has included a $5 million anonymous gift, the largest in the history of the department.
“John’s commitment to excellence, his ability to have a clear vision, and the transparency that he has brought to K-State Athletics has brought a renew sense of confidence and excitement,” said Dennis Mullin, NLC member and President/CEO of Steel and Pipe Supply Co. “He has worked hard to support all of our great athletic programs with better facilities, more secure finances and increased attendance. Thanks to John and his staff along with all of our terrific coaches, it is a great time to be a Wildcat!”

Under Currie’s leadership, the department’s commitment to the best fan experience in the Big 12 has provided affordable and accessible ticket options to ensure that every Wildcat fan has the opportunity to support the Cats. And K-State Nation has responded with eight sellout crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2009 while also setting new program attendance records in all ticketed sports, including Top 25 national acclaim in volleyball and women’s basketball.
Athletically, K-State’s national brand has taken a substantial leap forward thanks to the across-the-board success over the last three seasons. This past year, K-State advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in volleyball, finished No. 8 in the final BCS football rankings, earned an AT&T Cotton Bowl berth and went on to become the lone Big 12 school and one of only five in the nation to advance to a bowl and win games in the NCAA volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball tournaments. The 2010-11 athletics year saw a record-number of teams advance to the NCAA postseason. That year, K-State was just one of two programs in the nation to have its football team in a bowl game, both basketball and its baseball teams in the NCAA Tournament and both track and field teams finish in the Top 20, while piling up a 13-1 head-to-head record against in-state rival KU. Individually, the Wildcats sported two NCAA championships in track and field, and women’s tennis sensation Petra Niedermayerova was both Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year.

Currie received a celebrated national honor in 2011 as one of only two intercollegiate athletics directors named to SportsBusiness Journal's prestigious Forty Under 40 list of national sports leaders. He was a featured AD panelist at the 2011 SportsBusiness Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Conference in New York and has served as a faculty member of the Division I-A Athletic Director’s Institute. Currently a member of the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet and the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors, Currie also serves the Big 12 as a member of the Game Management/Officiating Subcommittee as well as the Championship and Awards committee.