History at university includes undergraduate, graduate degrees,
5 years as head baseball coach, assistant athletic director
HAYS, KS -- Curtis Hammeke, currently director of athletics at Kansas Newman University, was introduced at a news conference today as the new AD at Fort Hays State University, replacing Tom Spicer, who resigned in May after 15 years at FHSU.
Hammeke, who earned a bachelor's in physical education from FHSU in 1985 and a master's in athletic administration in 1993, also served as FHSU's head baseball coach and assistant director of athletics from 1991 to 1996.
"I'm excited about coming back to Fort Hays State," said Hammeke. "I think it's an outstanding opportunity for our family. We have very fond thoughts of the Hays community and Fort hays State University from our previous time there. We look forward to making it our home."
FHSU President Edward H. Hammond introduced Hammeke.
"I'm very excited to be able to bring back someone to our athletic program that has high standards, high integrity and high expectations," said Hammond. "Curtis's administrative experience at Great Bend, Butler County and Kansas Newman have prepared him to lead our athletic program to new heights."
Before taking the AD post at Kansas Newman in August 2003, Hammeke was, from 1998, director of athletics at Butler County Community College, El Dorado. Before that, he was director of athletics at Great Bend High School for two years, beginning in 1996, after leaving his position as FHSU's baseball coach and assistant AD.
His experience also includes time as assistant baseball coach and sports information director for Barton County Community College, Great Bend, from 1987 to 1991, and a year as a sports writer for the Grand Island Daily Independent, Grand Island, NE, from 1986 to 1987.
During his time as FHSU's head baseball coach, Hammeke received the Louisville Slugger Award in 1995, a national coach-of-the-year honor, and was named coach of the year by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the Mile High Intercollegiate Baseball League.
" Things just worked out right," said Hammeke about returning to FHSU. "I've been very fortunate in my career to have had some of these opportunities and I feel honored that Fort Hays State University has invited us to come back home."
Hammeke was accompanied at the news conference by his wife, Annette, and their three children, Andy, 15, who will be a sophomore next year, Alicia, 13, who will be in the eighth grade, and Nicholas, 10, who will enter the fifth grade.
Mike Barnett, vice president for administration and finance, said, "I look forward to working with Curtis and believe his enthusiasm and energy will be a great benefit to athletic programs here at Fort Hays."
The news conference was in the Dreiling Lobby of Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.
Hammeke had high praise for his predecessor.
"Tom Spicer has done an outstanding job," he said. "The foundation that Spicer has built over the last 15 years is a solid one and we would just like to enhance what he has already established."
"We have a lot of positives in the city of Hays," he said. "We have a great local media, a strong support base, and I feel like we have a university that sells itself, both from a facilities standpoint and a personnel standpoint."
And he added, "If you believe these things from your heart, as I do, it makes Fort Hays State University an easy place to promote, and I have felt that way since I recruited there as a coach."
"I look forward to moving into the future with Fort Hays State," he said.