Currie agrees to two-year extension

01/11/2011 12:00 AM

01/11/2011 10:09 AM

MANHATTAN — Kansas State athletic director John Currie agreed to a new contract with the school on Monday.

The agreement will keep Currie at K-State through June 30, 2016. His annual salary of $350,000 will remain unchanged, but Currie is now eligible for enhanced incentives.

Both sides are pleased with the new deal.

"Since John joined the K-State family, he's been a tremendous partner," K-State president Kirk Schulz said in a statement. "I expect even bigger and better things from John in the years to come."

Added Currie: "This recognizes that we as a department are on the right path. It's an endorsement of the work all our coaches and our staff are doing."

Upon successful completion of his original five-year contract on June 6, 2014, Currie will receive a single lump-sum payment of $250,000. If he successfully completes the new contract, he will also receive a single lump-sum payment of $150,000.

The bonuses he receives whenever one of K-State's coaches receives a performance-based incentive — capped at 75 percent of his base salary — related to the on-field successes of their programs also remains in the new contract.

He will also receive access to a $14,000 vehicle stipend, a full membership into Manhattan Country Club and a $25,000 yearly discretionary expense allowance.

If terminated by K-State without cause, Currie will receive $50,000 for each contract year completed before 2014 and $75,000 for each contract year after July 1, 2014. K-State will also owe him payments equal to the remainder of his salary up to $950,000.

Should Currie leave for a similar job at another school before the final year of his contract, he must pay K-State $175,000.

"I'm very pleased with all the aspects of the contract and think it's very fair," Currie said. "For me, I think we appreciate the support the president has shown in me. This is obviously a special place. The quality of life in Manhattan is incredible. It's a special university with great support. It's everything you want."

New Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger recently signed an employment agreement with the Jayhawks through June 30, 2015, worth $450,000 a year.

Currie, who came to K-State in June 2009 after stints with Wake Forest and Tennessee, has overseen a successful run in Wildcats' athletics. The men's basketball team is coming off a trip to the Elite Eight, the football team just finished playing in its first bowl game since 2006 and donations are up.

In 2009-10, K-State's Ahearn Fund achieved a record for total cash gifts at $14.47 million, and Currie recently announced plans for the construction of a new basketball practice facility next to Bramlage Coliseum.

The university hopes to break ground on the project in February.

"We should be able to go to bid on that thing, literally, any day now," Currie said. "We should be able to launch that project very shortly. We've had great donor response to that."

Currie has also signed several coaches to new contracts, including Bill Snyder (football), Frank Martin (men's basketball), Brad Hill (baseball), Cliff Rovelto (track and field) and Deb Patterson (women's basketball).

Schulz has said he was proud of the way Currie guided K-State through the conference-realignment cliffhanger last summer, and decided to award him a new contract.

Currie is looking forward to the future.

"We have built some great momentum here," he said. "What we're focused on is keeping that going."

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