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Ernie D. Barrett (1929 August 27 -) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Ernie D. Barrett (1929 August 27 -)

Historical Note: Ernie Drew Barrett was born on August 27, 1929 in Pratt, KS and grew up in Wellington, KS. Barrett played basketball, first in high school at Wellington High, and later at Kansas State College from 1948-1951, captaining the NCAA champion basketball team for the 1950-1951 season. He graduated from KSC with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education in 1951 and in 1956 with a Master’s degree in Journalism and Radio. Barrett was married to Bonnie R. Frommer from Valley Falls, KS on October 21, 1951 in Topeka, KS. They had two children, Ernie Duane on January 7, 1953 (death 1992 May 9) and Brad Ryan on September 7, 1955. Barrett was drafted to play for the Boston Celtics in 1951, but he chose instead to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, serving for two years as a lieutenant at the Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Air Force did not keep Barrett off the court however, as he continued to play and coach with the Sandia cage team. In 1953, “Black-Jack” was again drafted by the Celtics and played 131 games with the team, 1953-1954 and 1955-1956, while also coaching basketball at Kansas State with Morice Fredrick "Tex" Winter. Barrett began as assistant alumni secretary at K-State in 1955, was named assistant athletic director in 1961, and began as head athletic director in 1969. He continued in that role until 1975 when he was fired by President Acker. During the years Acker remained as president, Barrett spent time away from Kansas State moving to Wichita, KS and working as vice president for marketing at Chief Drilling. He returned to Kansas State in 1976 as Assistant to the President for Special Projects and switched to Director of Major Gifts for the Athletic Department in 1991, retiring in 2007. Barrett earned his Wildcat nickname, Mr. K-State, after many years of supporting Kansas State in his many roles in athletics and advancement. In 1990, Barrett was an inaugural member of the Kansas State University’s Sports Hall of Fame and was later inducted in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. Barrett has earned many honors from Kansas State University, specifically the Alumni Association Wildcat Pride Award in 2012, the Blue Key Alumni Award in 2014, and a life-size replica of Barrett standing outside of Bramlage Coliseum on campus.


News and Communications Services faculty files, Ernie Barrett

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