MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – K-State Athletics on Tuesday announced John Currie has been named the new Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee.
According to K-State Athletics, since Currie’s introduction as director of athletics in May 2009, the Wildcats’ athletics program has experienced a seven-year period of athletic, academic and fundraising excellence that ranks among the best in school history. Currie, who will begin his new position on April 1, spent 10 years at Tennessee prior to his arrival at K-State.
Laird Veatch, current Deputy AD and former Wildcat football standout, has been named acting athletics director and will manage the department until a permanent hire has been made.
Kansas State University President Richard Myers thanked Currie for his tremendous leadership and efforts.
“It has been impressive to see the growth of our athletics department with the goal of building a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program. I look forward to working with acting athletic director Laird Veatch and the staff as we continue to strengthen what is already a very strong relationship between intercollegiate athletics and the university community.”
Under Currie’s leadership, K-State has evolved into one of the NCAA’s most financially solvent programs while initiating $210 million in comprehensive facility improvements – all privately funded with zero state tax or university tuition dollars – including the new Vanier Football Complex, West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Ice Family Basketball Center, Intercollegiate Rowing Center and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.
Athletically, Currie’s tenure has been marked by across the board success including seven straight bowl appearances in football, Big 12 Conference championships in football, men’s basketball and baseball, 47 individual Big 12 and eight NCAA titles in track and field, five men’s basketball NCAA Tournament appearances, three in women’s basketball, four in volleyball and three in baseball. 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.
“Words cannot express how grateful our family is for the time and experience we have had here at K-State and in the Manhattan community,” Currie said. “Tennessee reached out to me earlier this week and encouraged me to visit with Chancellor Davenport about the position. It was evident early in our discussion that she has a tremendous vision for the University, and I am excited to be a part of her leadership team.
“From when I arrived at K-State back in 2009, I have experienced some of the most enjoyable moments in my life, filled with some of the most genuine and caring people I have ever met. As I have said so many times, the collective group of head coaches we have here rival those of any in all of college athletics. Our primary goal has been to provide a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience, and I know we have made tremendous progress in this arena. And of course, our fans continue to support the Wildcats in record numbers, and I know that will continue.”
Academically, all Wildcat programs boast multi-year APR marks of at least .944, 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 450-plus Wildcat student-athletes achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher this past academic year.
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. K-State supporters have pushed attendance to new heights, while $200 million in total gifts have now been raised for K-State Athletics since Currie’s arrival.
K-State Athletics has also proven to be a great partner to the university, having eliminated approximately $3 million in annual state and direct university funding of intercollegiate athletics under Currie’s leadership to become the only institution in Kansas and one of only approximately two dozen nationwide to operate without these subsidies.
New ticket initiatives have led to 42 sellout crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium since 2009, including a current streak of 33 straight. The Cats have also set new season total and average attendance records in baseball, sold a record number of season tickets for volleyball and baseball and rank among the Top 35 nationally in attendance in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and baseball.
The 2013 Bobby Dodd AD award winner and a 2012 UnderArmour AD of the Year, Currie has served on the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet and was the chair of the Big 12 ADs in 2013-14 while also being one of only two intercollegiate ADs named to SportsBusiness Journal’s 2011 prestigious Forty Under 40 list of national sports leaders.