John Currie was introduced as the sixth Director of Athletics at Wake Forest University by President Nathan Hatch on March 4, 2019. An award-winning college athletics leader with 27 years of experience in the ACC, Big 12 and SEC, Currie previously served as athletics director at Kansas State and Tennessee.
Since his appointment, Currie has focused on supporting student-athletes and building relationships throughout the Wake Forest, Winston-Salem and ACC communities as he has led the Demon Deacons through a historically unique and turbulent period. In August 2019 he unveiled five key goals for Wake Forest Athletics:
- A World Class Student-Athlete Experience
- Integrity in Academics, Compliance, Finance, Inclusion and Safety
- Value to the University, Winston-Salem and Triad Communities
- Win Championships
- The Best Fan Experience in North Carolina
The onset of the global pandemic brought an unprecedented leadership test as Wake Forest Athletics created its COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday, March 10 to work hand-in-hand in support of President Nathan Hatch and University leadership in positioning Wake Forest’s path forward in face of the pandemic. By narrowing its focus to the three principles, 1) Being as safe as possible, 2) Providing student-athletes opportunities for competition, and 3) Sustaining the enterprise, Currie’s leadership team has Wake Forest positioned to compete.
The 2020-2021 academic year marks Currie’s 11th as a Power-5 athletics director. During his 2009-2017 run at Kansas State, Currie turned a program with an inherited deficit into one of the NCAA’s most financially solvent and sustainable. He conceived and built $210 million in new state-of-the-art facilities, benefitting all 16 Wildcat sports. It was also 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. During his K-State tenure, the Wildcats 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.
He and his wife of 22 years, Mary Lawrence, are the proud parents of three children, Jack, Gigi and Mary-Dell, and a King Charles Cavalier named Charlie.