Let me establish this immediately – I like the hire of John Currie as Kansas State’s next athletic director. That said, I believe he has an incredibly difficult job ahead of him, but he’s too smart not to realize that.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but think about Ron Prince during Monday’s introductory festivities.
Here’s what I wrote Dec. 6, 2005:
While it seemed curious when South Florida coach Jim Leavitt, the school’s perceived top target, passed and signed a contract extension to remain in Tampa, K-State wasn’t in the bind it appeared to be. Weiser, vice president for institutional advancement Bob Krause and senior associate athletics director Jim Epps flew to Charlottesville, Va., unbeknownst to anyone, early last week.
“I’ve waited my entire life for this opportunity,” Prince told the three men.
In his hands he held a notebook that detailed his own breakdown of the current K-State roster, including a talent analysis, where the kids were from, prospective coaches, an outline of the first 15 days and much more. In a short amount of time, roughly a day, Prince had prepared a plan of how he’d attack this job.
He was unflappable.
“We asked pretty hard questions, and it’s hard to prepare for what we ask,” Weiser said. “We never tripped him up.”
And this is what I was told Monday by incoming president Kirk Schulz when I asked what separated Currie from the rest of the candidates:
“When John came to the interview, we would say, ‘What would you do in your first six months?’ And he’d say, ‘This is what I’d do,’ and he’d pass out a plan he’d put together. Then we asked him something else, and he’d say, ‘This is what I’d do,’ and he’d pass out another copy.
“Here I am, looking at all of this stuff, thinking, ‘This isn’t a guy that has just sort of thought about this.’ He’d prepared materials, and these were not (of the) ‘if I get an A.D. job’ (variety). We was like, ‘If I’m going to be at K-State, here’s exactly what I’m going to do.
“I left there saying, ‘This is the guy.”
I’m just saying…