Tennessee will hire Kansas State’s John Currie as its new athletic director, according to two sources with knowledge of the move.
The K-State sources confirmed multiple reports out of Knoxville, Tenn. also reporting the hire. Tennessee officially announced the hire Tuesday afternoon.
Currie has served as K-State’s athletic director since May 2009. He came to Manhattan after working for several years as an administrator within Tennessee’s athletic department. This will be viewed as a homecoming for Currie and his family.
He leaves behind a fascinating legacy at K-State.
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During his eight years on the job, he boosted fundraising to new heights and transformed the appearance of K-State’s athletic facilities. Under his leadership, the Wildcats poured more than $100 million worth of renovations into Snyder Family Stadium in the form of the West Stadium Center and the Vanier Football Complex. The additions gave K-State players a state-of-the-art facility to train and work between games, and fans a lavish place to watch games.
K-State also built a basketball training facility during Currie’s time and added large video boards to its basketball arena and football stadium.
The Wildcats had their fair share of wins under Currie, as well. No more so than in the athletic year of 2012-13, when the Wildcats claimed Big 12 championships in baseball, men’s basketball and football.
But his time in Manhattan wasn’t all sunshine. His departure was met with mixed reactions on social media on Tuesday. While some wished him well, others said good riddance.
Some will remember Currie more for his rift with former basketball coach Frank Martin than they will for his work in other areas. Martin left K-State for South Carolina in 2012 after an impressive five-year run with the Wildcats, which included four trips to the NCAA Tournament and one run to the Elite Eight, for many reasons, the most publicized of which was his poor working relationship with Currie.
Currie replaced Martin with current coach Bruce Weber, who got off to a strong start but has faded since. It appeared Currie would soon have to make a decision on whether to bring Weber back for a sixth season, but that choice will seemingly fall on the next athletic director.
A new athletic director will also help guide the transition to a new football coach, whenever 77-year-old Bill Snyder decides to retire.
K-State deputy athletic director Laird Veatch, a former K-State football player, is considered the favorite to take over for Currie on an interim basis and to be considered for the full-time job. But K-State hasn’t decided who will step in as interim athletic director, according to a source.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett