WKU Athletics

WKU

The WKU volleyball team captured the Conference USA championship and the football team became bowl eligible this weekend. 

WKU volleyball beat Rice 3-2 to win the conference tournament championship on Sunday and now advances to the NCAA tournament. The team will find out when it will play next during the tournament selection show Nov. 30. 

The football team powered past UT-San Antonio 45-7 on Saturday at L.T. Smith Stadium.  With the win, the Toppers became bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.

Also, the women's basketball team appeared in the finals of the preseason Women's National Invite Tournament, but fell to Mississippi State 88-77 on Sunday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.

Kevin Willis

Kentucky’s six high school state football championship games will remain in Bowling Green through 2018.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it will continue its partnership with WKU and Russell Athletic for at least four more years. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says while there are larger football stadiums in the Commonwealth, WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium offers the perfect venue for the games.

“And what we hear from the fans that come, from the coaches who come, to the players who have played here is that the intimacy of a packed or a nearly packed house sometimes trumps some of the bells and whistles that they’ll never see anyway.”

The state football championships moved to Bowling Green in 2009 after 30 years in Louisville. W-K-U Athletic Director Todd Stewart says his school’s coaching staff loves hosting the games because it exposes potential recruits and their families to the campus, stadium, and community.

“Our coaches have always felt that if they can get a recruit here on campus then we have a great chance to get them, because they’ll see everything. And so for us to have six state championship football games here every year, which is obviously bringing 12 high-caliber teams here , exposes our program to them, and vice-versa.”

The 2014 state championship games will be played at WKU December 5-6.

Photo Gallery: Hilltopper Hysteria

Oct 20, 2014
Abbey Oldham

The WKU basketball season kicked off ceremonially Saturday at Hilltopper Hysteria at Diddle Arena. Fans came to watch the scrimmages, a three-point contest, dunk contest, and performances by the cheerleaders and Topperettes.

Coaches and players each had their chance in the spotlight as they were introduced to the crowd, dancing and posing to songs of the choice. For the first few minutes of the men's scrimmage, coach Ray Harper provided humorous play-by-play. The evening ended with a chance for fans to meet and get autographs from their favorite players.

The women's season opens at home against Bellarmine November 7 at 7 PM and the men's opens at home November 10 against Pikeville.

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WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty is being honored for his record-breaking performance in Saturday’s loss to Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders beat the Hilltoppers 50-47 in double overtime, dropping WKU to 1-2 on the season.

The loss came despite Doughty’s 593 yards in passing and four touchdowns. The passing yards set WKU and Conference USA records, and earned the senior quarterback the league’s Offensive Player of the Week  award for the second time this season.

Doughty was previously recognized after he threw for 569 yards against Bowling Green State in WKU’s season-opening win.

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WKU has announced the names of four individuals who will make up the 24th class of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The quartet will be inducted during WKU’s homecoming weekend, Nov 7-9.

The four are:

  • Dan King/ Men’s Basketball 1952-54; Baseball 1952-54

King helped the basketball team win 85 percent of its games during his time on the Hill, and a star on the school’s 1954 team that won 4th place in the NIT. Coach E.A. Diddle oncecalled King, a 6’5” power forward, the fastest player he ever coached.

King also once pitched both games of a doubleheader and won both contests. He helped lead the WKU baseball team to two Ohio Valley Conference championships, in 1952 and 1953.

  •  Darnell Mee/ Men’s Basketball 1991-93

Mee was named an All-America selection in 1993, the same year he helped lead the Hilltoppers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Mee scored 1,253 points during his career, ranking him 18th all-time on that list. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1993 and played in Denver from 1993 to 1995.

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WKU basketball fans who watch Saturday’s U.S.A-Mexico FIBA World Cup game will recognize one of the Mexican players from his time on the Hill.

Guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez played at WKU from 2005 to 2009, and was a key member of the Hilltoppers’ 2008 team that reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. Mendez-Valdez plays in a professional league in Mexico, and has been a key contributor to the country’s World Cup team.

The U.S. team went 5-0 in the tournament’s group stage, and is led by a group of NBA stars including James Harden, Derrick Rose, and former University of Kentucky standout Anthony Davis.

The U.S. takes on Mexico in the knockout stage of the FIBA World Cup Saturday at 9 a.m. central. The game is being televised on ESPN 2.

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The WKU men’s basketball team will open its first season as a member of Conference USA with 18 league games, as well as home contests against Louisville and Belmont.

The Hilltoppers start the season at E.A. Diddle Arena Nov. 14 against Austin Peay, and will play home-and-home series against Conference USA opponents Marshall, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International.

The rest of WKU’s first-ever Conference USA league schedule features home games against Texas-El Paso, Texas-San Antonio, North Texas, and Rice. The Hilltoppers will go on the road to take on Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Alabama-Birmingham, and Middle Tennessee.

You can see the entire 2014-15 schedule here.

WKU hosts Belmont Nov. 22, and the Louisville Cardinals Dec. 20.

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After 32 years as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, WKU has now officially become a member of the newly re-aligned, 14 member Conference USA. It's a move Athletic Director Todd Stewart has been working toward for several years, but even he admits it's a high-risk, high-reward situation.

Stewart spoke with Joe Corcoran about leaving the comforts of the Sun Belt for the new challenges ahead.

WKU Athletics

Professional golfer Adam Gary has been named the new head coach for WKU’s Women’s Golf team, it was announced Thursday.

Gary was on the US Pro Golf Tour from 2003-2005 and on the Egolf Professional Tour from 2006-2009. The Bowling Green-native currently runs his own golf academy and has served as director of Golf for Kenny Perry’s Country Creek course in Franklin.

Gary graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2003 where he played collegiate golf.

WKU Athletics

The men’s tennis program at WKU has become a victim of university budget cuts.  Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced late Tuesday the intercollegiate men’s tennis program is being eliminated for the 2014-2015 academic year. With the loss of men’s tennis, WKU is left with 18 sponsored sports as it begins its first year competing in Conference USA.

"This is certainly a disappointment," Stewart said. "Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of three consecutive years of cuts to the overall athletics budget forces us to make difficult decisions. We have actually increased both our ticket and sponsorship revenue in each of the last two years along with private donor support, but cuts to the athletics budget have lessened the impact of our growth.”

Student athletes in the men’s tennis program will have the chance to transfer to another school to keep playing tennis without having to sit out a year. Scholarship athletes who want to stay at WKU will have their scholarships honored through their senior year.

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