City Narrows Candidates For Parks & Rec Director


The Manhattan Parks and Rec Advisory Board held a reception for the final candidates competing for the department’s Director position, Monday evening at City Hall.

The four finalists were selected following a nationwide search. An internal interview and extensive interview process was then held all-day Monday.

During the reception, each candidate provided brief statements about their personal lives and career aspirations, followed by informal introductions and questions.

The four finalists are:

Chris Curtis
Curtis has a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Emporia State University, a bachelor of arts in political science from Kansas State University and a master of education degree in sports administration from the University of Kansas. He is currently the recreation superintendent for the City of Salina. Curtis said he’s drawn to the area because of it’s developing economy and growing population.

Eddie Eastes
Eastes has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Kansas State University. He has worked as the park superintendent and assistant director of parks and recreation for the City of Manhattan since April 2005. He has served as interim director of parks and recreation since May 2013. Eastes said he’s perfect for the position due to his familiarity with the department and Manhattan community.

Stephen Herrig
Herrig has a bachelor of science degree in health, physical education and recreation from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. He currently serves as recreation complex manager for the Blue Valley Recreation Commission in Overland Park. Herrig said he brings a lot to the table including, 25 years experience in the Recreation field and a strong list of professional connections.

Mike Lueck
Lueck has a bachelor of science degree in secondary math education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master of science degree in sports management from Western Illinois University. He currently serves as director of parks and facility services in Hutchinson. Lueck has experience in both Parks and Recreation, is familiar with the Manhattan area, and says he’s drawn to the community because of its good reputation.

City Manager, Ron Fehr, said he hopes to choose a finalist and extend an offer some time this week.

To learn more about the candidates, visit


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