Since John Currie's introduction as director of athletics in May 2009, Kansas State has experienced a tremendous turnaround and unprecedented athletic and academic accomplishments. Driving toward the vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, Currie's rebuilt senior leadership team has turned an inherited deficit into national acclaim as one of the NCAA's most financially solvent programs, while initiating $190 million in comprehensive facility improvements - $125 million of which have been completed in the last 24 months including the West Stadium Center, Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Facility and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.
Athletically Currie's tenure has been marked by across the board success including a 2013-14 year that saw K-State defeat Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, earn the school's fifth straight NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearance, and see a total of nine track and field student-athletes claim Big 12 Championships en route to Top 20 national finishes for both squads. The 2012-13 campaign was also one for the ages as K-State became just the fourth BCS school since 1998 to win league titles in football, men's basketball and baseball the same year.
Academically, all Wildcat programs boast multi-year APR marks of at least .949, with the football, men's golf, women's golf, men's cross country and women's cross country teams sporting Big 12-leading scores. Approximately one-half of all Wildcat student-athletes (260) achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher this past academic year, while 37 student-athletes have earned Academic All-American honors in the past five years.
With the tag line of "Welcome to K-State" symbolizing the goal of providing The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, K-State's marketing and fundraising efforts have been completely overhauled in Currie's tenure. Responding to a new emphasis on personal interaction and communication, K-State supporters have pushed attendance to new heights, while more than $143 million in total gifts have been raised for K-State Athletics in Currie's five years including FY14's cash total exceeding $46 million - almost quadrupling the annual amount prior to his arrival. Meanwhile, history was made as Currie and his staff worked hand in hand with President Kirk Schulz and the KSU Foundation to secure the largest individual donation in university history, a $60 million gift benefitting various academic and athletic initiatives. Currie's award-winning Fan Experience staff, which was named the national 2014 NACMA Marketing Team of the Year, has created new ticket initiatives that have led to 22 sellout crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2009, including a current streak of 13 straight, while the 2013 football season saw K-State set new school records for total and average attendance.
K-State also navigated its way through the tumultuous waters of conference realignment and capitalized on the Big 12's unique retained rights opportunities when it launched K-StateHD.TV, which has remained the nation's No. 1 premium digital network for the past three years and provides all K-State student-athletes unprecedented live coverage.
The recipient of the 2013 Bobby Dodd AD Award and a 2013 UnderArmour AD of the Year, Currie served as chair of the Big 12 ADs in 2013-14 and is a member of the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet. He was one of only two intercollegiate ADs named to SportsBusiness Journal's 2011 prestigious Forty Under 40 list of national sports leaders.
K-STATE HIGHLIGHTS UNDER CURRIE
All Wildcat programs have remained well above the NCAA .930 APR standard with five teams currently leading the Big 12 (FB, M/W Golf and M/W CC).
Epic 2012-13 year with Big 12 Championships in FB, MBB and Baseball.
In the past five years, 99 student-athletes have earned All-American distinction, while Wildcats have won five NCAA individual titles and 30 Big 12 titles.
Brand new facilities include the new West Stadium Center at BSFS, Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.
Fundraising has been completely overhauled with more than $143 million in actual gifts raised for K-State Athletics in five years.
FY14's cash total of $46 million is the fifth-straight record total and almost quadruple the annual total prior to Currie's arrival.
K-State donors have stepped up with 21 private gifts in excess of $1 million since fall 2009, while grassroots Ahearn Fund membership has soared past the 10,000 member mark for the first time in department history.
Operated with a budget surplus in each of the last five years, allowing for annual investments and budget growth from $44 million to $65 million.
Implemented a complete phase-out of direct university funding as a source of revenue, enabling K-State to redirect those funds to critical academic needs.
New ticket initiatives have led to 22 sellouts at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2009, which includes a current streak of 13 straight heading into 2014.
Also set new season total and average attendance records in baseball while selling a record number of season tickets for volleyball and baseball.
Hired 300-game winner Bruce Weber as the head men's basketball coach, who captured Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in his first season, while recent hires of veteran head coaches Jeff Mittie (WBB) and Grant Robbins (MGolf) bring instant credibility and national recognition.