Manhattan John Currie will be Kansas State’s next athletic director, inheriting a department whose major sports programs have fallen behind those of archrival Kansas.
Currie, 38, will be introduced on Monday, the school announced Thursday. It’s the first major decision by incoming president Kirk Schulz, who officially succeeds the retiring Jon Wefald on June 15.
“We wanted to fill this position with the best candidate possible, and with John we feel we have accomplished that,” Schulz said in a statement. “He brings energy, integrity and experience to his new role at Kansas State.”
Currie replaces Bob Krause, who stepped down earlier this year. A nine-person search committee headed by Amy Button Renz, head of the alumni asociation, narrowed the list to three last weekend.
Currie earned a history degree from Wake Forest in 1993. He has spent the past 10 years at Tennessee, serving in various capacities. Most recently, he was executive associate athletic director.
Working under Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton, Currie was in charge of a variety of departments, including men’s basketball, fundraising, ticketing, public relations and broadcasting.
Currie also was instrumental in hiring Bruce Pearl as men’s basketball coach. Pearl won Southeastern Conference coach of the year honors in 2008 after leading the Volunteers to their first outright conference championship in 41 years.
At Kansas State, Currie will inherit a financially challenged program that has been struggling to keep pace with the more affluent members of the Big 12 such as Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska and Kansas.