Dean of Big 12 reporters stepping down

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Not much has happened during the last 38 years around Kansas State that Mark Janssen hasn't reported on.

Janssen, the longtime Kansas State beat writer and former sports editor of the Manhattan Mercury, announced in a column today that he's leaving the newspaper.

Over the years, Janssen has become as big a part of the landscape in Manhattan as the cold chocolate milk they always serve in the press box at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

When they talk about the "Miracle in Manhattan" in upcoming years that Bill Snyder was able to accomplish, Janssen will be cited. Heck, he even wrote the book with Snyder describing the turnaround.

Janssen started as a radio reporter in 1970 at Manhattan stations KMAN-KMKF, working there for 10 years. He served as a host for Jim Dickey's weekly coaches' show back in the day. Later, he was sports editor of the Mercury for 26 years before stepping back two years ago to become a senior writer for the newspaper.

He has seen the KSU program mushroom from a $3 million, four-man administrative department when he started to today's $40 million operation.

He's been there for the program's struggles in the Big Eight to its remarkable 2003 Big 12 football championship.

Janssen still plans to contribute columns about the Wildcats on a regular basis to kstatefans.com. For that, we should all feel grateful.

Because there's not many people with the institutional knowledge of the Wildcats and college sports in general that Janssen has provided over the years.

And losing that completely would be a great misfortune for all of us.