WKU Athletics Director Says WKU Can Gain National Notoriety in the Sun Belt

May 10, 2012

WKU's new Athletics Director says he's confident in the future of the Sun Belt Conference. Todd Stewart--who has been serving as the school's interim AD--was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new full-time Director of Athletics. Stewart said he doesn't believe WKU's athletics future is hindered because the school isn't in one of the larger sports conferences.

"If George Mason, VCU, and Butler can make the men's basketball Final Four, then so can we. We did it in 1971, and we can do it again.

"We know we can make the women's basketball Final Four, because we've done it three times.

"If Southern Miss can make the College World Series in baseball, then we can go to Omaha, too.

"And if Boise State can make it to the Fiesta Bowl, then so can we," Stewart said.

Stewart and WKU President Gary Ransdell Thursday both said they believe the Sun Belt will be successful in the near and longer-term future. Two current members--Florida International and North Texas--are leaving the Sun Belt in 2013 for a larger conference, and the league is replacing them with Georgia State and Texas State.

Stewart said WKU wants to help raise the national profile of the Sun Belt, which will in turn enchance the accomplishments of Hilltopper athletes.