It’s hard to believe, I know, but I have a few interesting tidbits about John Currie and his plans for Kansas State athletics that didn’t make it into my profile of him over the weekend.
Don’t know that this blog needs any further buildup than that, so here they are:
One of the most challenging tasks for K-State’s athletic director has been working with coach Bill Snyder to schedule nonconference football games. In little more than two years on the job, Currie has called off scheduled games with Oregon and Virginia Tech and added a series against Texas-San Antonio.
Those moves coincide with Snyder’s long-held preference of playing beatable opponents at home early in the season. Currie told me he likes that approach, but every now and then a big-name team will show up on K-State’s schedule. After much debate, he decided to go ahead with a series against Miami. And there has been talk of setting up a series with Wisconsin.
Now, don’t expect that caliber of opponent to show up on the Wildcats’ nonconference schedule every year, but they will be there every two or three years. Currie said he has received lots of positive feedback from K-State fans who made the trip to Auburn for a road game in 2007. They enjoyed the experience, so Currie will try to keep those games on the schedule in a limited capacity. And while we’re on the subject of Auburn, the defending national champs owe K-State a return game in 2014. Unless an “extraordinary opportunity” presents itself, Currie told me he expects that game to be played as scheduled.
On top of renovating Snyder Family Stadium, Currie pointed out a few improvements he would like to make in the coming years. They included:
– New video board at Bramlage Coliseum
– Renovated parking lot for the sports complex
– New storage/practice facility for rowing team
– Improved tennis courts
No new sports
Don’t expect K-State to add any sports in the near future. One of Currie’s top goals is to create the best “student-athlete experience,” possible. That’s hard to do when you have too many student-athletes.
“We can’t provide world-class experiences for 25 sports,” Currie said. “We have to live within our means and operate responsibly.”
‘Best basketball scene’
When he speaks with students, Currie said he is regularly asked about student seating at Bramlage Coliseum. Unlike most schools across the country, K-State allows its students to sit in prime, court-side seats. Many schools sell those seats at premium prices, so there is always a fear that at some point K-State will decide to do the same.
But Currie insists those seats will belong to K-State students for a long, long time.
“Our students provide us with the best basketball scene possible,” Currie said. “It’s unique … Our biggest advantage is unbelievable fan support. We want to keep it that way.”
Happy with Bramlage
Of all of K-State’s athletic facilities, Currie seems most pleased with Bramlage Coliseum. Major renovations, or the idea of a new arena, are still years down the road.
“We don’t want a new basketball arena,” Currie said. “The one we have fits our needs perfectly.”
Track & Field Championship
I doubt many readers have this event circled on their calendars, but Currie is counting down the days until the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships are held at K-State next May.
“What a neat event that’s going to be,” Currie said. “Athletes you’ll be able to see in the Olympics are going to be competing on our campus. That’s a big deal, and a special opportunity for us.”
Day in the life
In case you ever wanted to know just how busy an A.D. can be on a given day, here is a rundown of Currie’s schedule on the day I spent with him:
6 a.m. Wakes up, does laundry, goes on morning run
6:30 a.m. Tweets about seeing a Bobcat on morning run
8 a.m. All-staff meeting
9 a.m. Facilities inspection
10 a.m. Meeting with rowing coach
11:30 a.m. Meeting with video team
Noon Speaks to Manhattan Rotary Club
1 p.m. Shakes hands and mingles after speech
1:30 p.m. Trip to the bank
1:45 p.m. Haircut
2 p.m. Lunch at Cozy Inn (he orders three sliders, extra pickles)
2:30 p.m. Meetings with campus personnel
5 p.m. Drives to Emporia for Catbacker Event, makes business calls along the way
7 p.m. Arrives in Emporia for Catbacker Event
9 p.m. Drives to Manhattan, conducts interview along the way
11 p.m. Arrives in Manhattan, prepares for sleep