KSU officials share Purple Pride
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
SCOTT CITY — A sea of purple flooded the HRC Feedyard west of Scott City on Wednesday night as scores of Kansas State supporters flocked to hear Wildcats' coaches and administrators speak during the annual K-State Fry.
K-State president Kirk Schultz, as well as head basketball coaches Bruce Weber (men's) and John Mittie (women's), and head volleyball coach Susie Fritz were in attendance at the Scott City Catbacker event. All spoke on the importance of events like that to the K-State athletic department, and how they have helped support the many improvements that are still ongoing to the athletic facilities.
"It's why we have these events," Weber said. "People have been very supportive. Our department, Mr. (John) Currie (K-State athletics director), President Schultz, have done a great job of getting out. How many presidents are out doing events like this?"
The college is currently in Phase III of a six phase process to renovate Bill Snyder Family Stadium and surrounding athletic facilities.
Phase I was completed in 2011 and Phase II in 2013, according to the school's website, and the entire project is expected to be completed in 2025.
"To compete at this level in the Big 12, you have to have the facilities," Weber said. "You've got to give yourselves a chance, and what John has done from the football side, the basketball side, rowing, even volleyball. They've done a lot of things."
And a lot of the credit, according to the coaches, goes to the supporters, just like the fans in Scott City.
"These are our people," Fritz said. "Kansas State is all about people in Scott City, Kan. We represent them I think is how we feel.
"So, to be able to come out and integrate into their communities and do the clinics and interact with the people doing the work, that are supporting Kansas State, supporting our teams, giving money to the university, giving their love, giving their support to the university."
And it's that support that Mittie believes is special about K-State.
"I think it's huge," the newly-hired coach said. "I think it's really what drew me to K-State, just the passion from corner to corner of the state. It's unique. It's special. I can tell you it's something we don't take for granted."
The coaches also spoke a little about what the renovations could mean for their respective programs, and how the offseasons are going, including Mittie, who was hired in March and has dealt with the controversy surrounding player Leticia Romero's denial for a transfer waiver.
"It's always tough in transition," Mittie said. "I'm bringing in new coaches, everybody's moving families. You've got players that are trying to get used to new terminology, but our group's been really, really good."
Fritz said that the whole renovation has brought a world class student-athlete experience that Currie would like for Kansas State athletes.
"It's been tremendous," she said. "John Currie has a real knack for facilities, and for his vision of facilities, in terms of the entire department."