ICYMI: Gene Taylor contract extended, Mike McGuirl to return

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Athletic Director Gene Taylor awards Larry Moeder a helmet prior to K-State's 24-20 loss to West Virginia on Nov. 16, 2019. Taylor recently agreed to terms with a contract extension that will keep him at K-State through the 2026-27 academic year. (Dalton Wainscott I Collegian Media Group)

Even though only two sporting events happened in K-State Athletics from Monday to Thursday, plenty still occurred. Here’s what happened.

Gene Taylor contract extended to 2027

With his original contract set to expire in 2022, Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor agreed to a contract extension on Wednesday afternoon that will keep him at the helm of the athletic department until June 30, 2027. The contract will begin in the 2021-2022 academic year and includes an annual salary of $925,000 plus performance and retention incentives.

Those incentives include $40,000 if the football team participates in any New Year’s Six bowl games, $25,000 if the men’s or women’s basketball team’s make the NCAA Tournament, $30,000 if the men’s or women’s basketball team’s make the Sweet 16, $40,000 if the men’s or women’s basketball team’s make the Final Four, and $10,000 for any team winning a Big 12 Championship.

Athletic Director Gene Taylor awards Larry Moeder a helmet prior to K-State's 24-20 loss to West Virginia on Nov. 16, 2019. Taylor recently agreed to terms with a contract extension that will keep him at K-State through the 2026-27 academic year. (Dalton Wainscott I Collegian Media Group)
Athletic Director Gene Taylor awards Larry Moeder a helmet prior to K-State's 24-20 loss to West Virginia on Nov. 16, 2019. Taylor recently agreed to terms with a contract extension that will keep him at K-State through the 2026-27 academic year. (Dalton Wainscott I Collegian Media Group)

There is also a $20,000 incentive for any team winning a national championship and $10,000 for achieving the highest graduation success rate of any other athletic program in the conference. Taylor will also receive a lump sum of $250,000 upon the completion of his first contract on June 30, 2022.

Taylor was brought in to fill the vacant athletic director spot in 2017 left by John Currie after his departure for Tennessee. Taylor was set to make $650,000 during the 2020-21 academic year after starting out in 2017 at a $450,000 base salary with increases of $50,000 each year, but took a salary reduction this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since Taylor arrived in 2017, he hired three new coaches, including Chris Klieman for the football team, Pete Hughes for the baseball team and Jordan Smith for the tennis team. He has been with K-State through three bowl appearances for the football team, the men’s basketball team winning a Big 12 Championship as well as earning a berth in the Elite 8, while also seeing the women’s track and field team claim back-to-back Big 12 Outdoor championships.

Mike McGuirl to return for 2021-22 Season

With the news of junior Rudi Williams, redshirt sophomore Joe Petrakis and sophomores DaJuan Gordon and Antonio Gordon all entering the transfer portal in the past two weeks, K-State men’s basketball fans needed some good news. They got that when it was announced on Tuesday that senior guard Mike McGuirl would be using his extra season of eligibility and returning for the 2021-22 season.

Junior guard Mike McGuirl leaps up for a shot during K-State’s 64-59 loss to Oklahoma State in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2020. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)
Junior guard Mike McGuirl leaps up for a shot during K-State’s 64-59 loss to Oklahoma State in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2020. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The extra year of eligibility was granted to all 2020 fall and winter sport athletes because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college athletes. McGuirl joins the list of notable players returning due to the extra eligibility.

Aliyah Carter named Rookie and Offensive Player of the Week

After helping the volleyball team upset No. 24 Creighton over the weekend, freshman outside hitter Aliyah Carter racked up two Big 12 Conference accolades over the week. Garnering her second straight Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor as well as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for her performance.

Freshman hitter Aliyah Carter records a dig in K-State's 3-1 victory over Creighton on March 20, 2021. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)
Freshman hitter Aliyah Carter records a dig in K-State's 3-1 victory over Creighton on March 20, 2021. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

A freshman out of Dubuque, Iowa, Carter was just one kill shy of tying her own freshman program record of 27 kills, recording 26 kills on Saturday. She also recorded a .449 hitting efficiency, almost hitting her career-best of .450.

Tennis defeats DePaul

Having not won a match in just over a month, the K-State tennis team picked up its first victory since the 4-0 victory over Arizona on Feb. 21, defeating DePaul 4-0 on Monday afternoon at Body First Tennis Center. K-State made quick work of the Blue Demons after taking the doubles point thanks to a 6-2 victory by sophomore Karine-Marion Job and junior Maria Linares over senior Lenka Antonijevic and sophomore Yuliya Kizelbasheva, while senior Lilla Barzó and freshman Manami Ukita defeated senior Marija Jovicic and senior Alina Kuzmenkova 6-4.

Junior Ioana Gheorghita prepares to hit in her match against Iowa State at the K-State Fall Invite on Oct. 30, 2020. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)
Junior Ioana Gheorghita prepares to hit in her match against Iowa State at the K-State Fall Invite on Oct. 30, 2020. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

K-State then swept the singles competition as Linares defeated Kuzmenkova 6-4, 6-3, Ukita defeated Kizelbasheva 6-3, 6-1, and sophomore Ioana Gheorghita defeated junior Maddie Yergler 6-4, 7-5. The win for K-State makes it seven straight home victories for the Wildcats dating back to last season and puts them at 5-5 overall this season.

Baseball Falls to Wichita State

K-State and Wichita State renewed their in-state rivalry with each other on Tuesday evening at Eck Stadium in Wichita, as the Shockers sent the Wildcats home with a 5-1 defeat. K-State stranded 10 baserunners on the night, including going hitless with runners in scoring position and also having three batters strikeout in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and no outs.

Senior catcher Chris Ceballos swings through after hitting the ball during K-State's 6-4 loss to New Mexico on Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)
Senior catcher Chris Ceballos swings through after hitting the ball during K-State's 6-4 loss to New Mexico on Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The lone score from K-State came from redshirt junior Kaden Fowler hitting a groundout in the top of the second inning, scoring sophomore Dylan Phillips and giving K-State its only lead of the game before three WSU runs in the third and two in the eighth. The loss drops the Wildcats to 13-7 on the season as the team starts Big 12 play this weekend at Oklahoma State.

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Hey! I’m Cameron Bradley and I am the sports editor for the Collegian! I am a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and I am majoring in journalism. When I’m not working for the Collegian, I’m creating content and putting on broadcasts with K-StateHD.TV. I am also currently a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I love sports, spending time with friends, family and doing everything that I do for the glory of God!