Kansas State Big 12 ChampionsI stepped on campus as a student at Kansas State in the fall of 2002. That year the football team led by Terence Newman, Ell Roberson, Darren Sproles, Terry Pierce and Josh Buhl to name a few, went 10-2 and capped off their season with a win over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. My sophomore year we won the Big 12 by upsetting No. 1 Oklahoma in Kansas City and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. Then K-State sports hit a bit of a dry spell.

The 2004-2005 seasons were lack-luster at best. Bill Snyder retired and we all wondered what was going to happen to the program that rose up out of nowhere. Ron Prince smooth-talked his way into the coach’s headset. He brought us Josh Freeman and a few “bold and daring” victories over Texas, but also let the program slip below Sunflower Showdown rival Kansas.

Basketball wasn’t able to pick up the slack until Bob Huggins re-energized the sleeping giant we put to sleep in the mid-nineties. Michael Beasley, Bill Walker and a freshman by the name of Jacob Pullen lead us to our first NCAA tournament berth and upset victory of OJ Mayo’s USC Trojans.

Then Ron Prince and Bob Krause rode off into the sunset hand-in-hand and order more than restored itself. Bill Snyder comes back from retirement to calm the water and leads the team to three consecutive bowl games and a Big 12 title this season. John Currie was hired and hit the ground running.

Frank Martin headed east for a new job and Currie replaces him with Bruce Weber. In Weber’s first year, Kansas State wins its first conference title in 33 years.

Brad Hill, who was hired during Snyder’s first tenure doesn’t want to be out-done and wins the first conference title in baseball since 1933. If that wasn’t good enough, Kansas State hosted its first Regional in the College World Series and sweeps it advancing to the Super Regional.

The 2012-2013 athletic year was definitely the year of the Wildcat in the Big 12. For only the second time in Big 12 history and the fourth time in BCS history a single school won their conference’s football, men’s basketball and baseball titles.

The architect of this athletic department, the man who has built a basketball training facility, updated the baseball stadium, added a rowing training complex and is in the midst of finishing the new crown jewel of Manhattan, Kansas was also recognized for his efforts. John Currie was just named the National Athletic Director of the Year.

It all stems from the Kansas State family’s unwillingness to give up. Not one of the three Big 12 championship teams were voted into the top 5 in any of the Big 12 pre-season polls. This family doesn’t do what is expected of them, they go beyond expectations. The never-say-die attitude that these teams possessed really went beyond the playing surface and into the lives of the entire K-State Family.

We even coined a new catch-phrase with all of our success. Without three Big 12 trophies, “3MAW” wouldn’t be at thing. Now it’s a new battle cry. In less than 80 days the Big 12 champions turn into the defending Big 12 champions. The hunters become the hunted and this family will once again band together to protect what they have earned.

Have a great summer. I will see you at the next family reunion.

About The Author

Ryan was born and raised around the “Little Apple”, and is a life-long Kansas State fan and 2007 graduate. He is also a lover of all things Tallgrass Brewing. Was once quoted on November 11, 2006 as saying, "If we beat Texas, I will get a Powercat tattooed on my ass!"

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