John Currie was introduced as the 6th Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University by President Nathan Hatch on March 4, 2019. A veteran college athletics leader with 26 years of experience in the ACC, Big 12, and SEC, Currie previously served as athletics director at Kansas State and the University of Tennessee.
Currie was recognized in 2013 as both an Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year and the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Athletic Director Award and was a Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 winner in 2011. He is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University in New York and is a life member of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors.
During his 2009-2017 run as Kansas State’s 15th athletic director, Currie turned a program with an inherited deficit into one of the NCAA’s most financially solvent, achieving a cash surplus each of his eight years in Manhattan. He built $210 million in new state-of-the-art facilities benefitting all 16 Wildcat sports, all funded without state tax, university tuition or fee dollars. In 2016, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder Family Stadium was one of five finalists for the Sports Business Journal Facility of the Year. K-State won Big 12 championships in football, men’s basketball and baseball, appeared in seven consecutive bowl games, had 17 teams earn NCAA berths, and won 11 individual NCAA titles during his tenure.
Currie’s fundraising accomplishments include record private gifts of $50 million at Tennessee in 2008 and $60 million at K-State in 2014. All eight of his head coaching hires have been successful, most notably Bruce Weber, who has led K-State to the Elite Eight and two Big 12 basketball championships, and Tennessee’s Tony Vitello, who last year led the Vols to their first NCAA berth since 2005.
He is a 1993 Wake Forest graduate and holds a master’s degree from Tennessee. He and his wife of 21 years, Mary Lawrence, are the proud parents of three children, Jack, Gigi and Mary-Dell, and a King Charles Cavalier named Charlie.