WKU Football

WKU kicks off its 2013 football season Saturday night against Kentucky.

While the contest is technically a home game for WKU, it's being played at LP Field in Nashville. The game marks the debut for both WKU coach Bobby Petrino and UK head coach Mark Stoops.

Petrino says season-openers are always a major challenge for the coaching staff.

"We have to do a good job on the sidelines making sure we're coaching our guys in between series, and really understanding what Kentucky is trying to do to us, and making sure our players stay into it mentally," said Petrino.

Petrino has 75 career wins as a head coach, and his teams have made seven bowl appearances. The UK game marks Petrino's return to coaching following his 2012 firing as head coach of Arkansas. Petrino was let go by the SEC school after he lied to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle accident involving his mistress.

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As college football season approaches, student-athletes are having to brush up on the rules regarding autographs and eligibility.

The reverberations of the NCAA’s inquiry into whether Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed autographs for memorabilia dealers will be felt in Kentucky this weekend. In Louisville, the athletic department has advised the Cardinals football team not to sign autographs at this weekend’s fan event.

 But that will not be the case at WKU’s Football Fan Fest On Saturday.

“They’ll all be available for autographs throughout the event,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.  

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For the first time in school history, a football team from the SEC will visit Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers. WKU announced a three-game series with Vanderbilt University on Wednesday. 

The first game will take place in 2015 in Nashville, with the Commodores coming to the WKU Campus in 2016.  

“It’s a great compliment that Vanderbilt wanted to schedule that game with us – two games at their place and one at ours as a part of that three-game series. We're certainly looking forward to that starting in a few years,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.

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The Hilltoppers have been named the Sun Belt preseason favorite in The Sporting News college football preview. WKU is followed in the ranking by Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State.

Also, senior running back Antonio Andrews has been named a preseason All-America selection by the organization.

Andrews is a third-team selection to the 2013 Sporting News All-America Team as an all-purpose player.

Kickoff time has been set for WKU’s season-opening football game versus Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, August 31, at 6 p.m. at L.P. Field in Nashville.

The contest will mark the first games for both teams’ head coaches—Bobby Petrino at WKU and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge last season’s overtime loss to WKU in Lexington.

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WKU has released its 2013 football schedule. Highlights include the opening game against Kentucky in Nashville, a home game versus Navy, and an early fall game at Louisiana-Monroe.

The Hilltoppers will open their first season under new head coach Bobby Petrino Aug. 31 against the UK Wildcats, a team WKU beat last season in overtime at Commonwealth Stadium.

A second SEC opponent follows the opener, with WKU traveling to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers Sept. 7. WKU's Sun Belt opener is in week three at South Alabama.

You can see the team's complete 2013 schedule here.

How badly beaten up is the WKU men's basketball team? Coach Ray Harper has been suiting up two football players in order to have enough bodies on the court during games and practice.

The Courier-Journal has this article about quarterback Kawaun Jakes and wide receiver Marcus Vasquez, two seniors who just wrapped up their final college football season, and how they're playing important roles for the WKU basketball team. 

WKU Public Radio recently profiled Vasquez, who returned to the football field after suffering a season-ending knee injury his junior year.

WKU football coach Bobby Petrino has put the finishing touches on his first Hilltopper staff. At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Petrino introduced Jeff Brohm as his new offensive coordinator, and Nick Holt as the new WKU defensive coordinator.

Like Petrino, both Brohm and Holt have ties to the University of Louisville.

Brohm is a former U of L quarterback and assistant coach. He is rejoining Petrino after working under him at U of L for three seasons. Brohm says he was willing to leave his job at Alabama-Birmingham for the chance to reunite with his former boss.

“I have a past with Coach Petrino, and I have a great deal of respect for his ability as a coach, what he believes, how we believe in things that are very similar. And I wanted a chance to get back and work with him,” said Brohm, who played eight seasons in the NFL.

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WKU football coach Bobby Petrino is bringing another former Louisville Cardinal to the Hill. Petrino will introduce his new offensive and defensive coordinators Wednesday afternoon at a news conference on campus.

Former U of L quarterback and offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm will be put in charge of the WKU offense. Brohm comes to Bowling Green after serving as offensive coordinator at Alabama-Birmingham.

Brohm is a Louisville native who played quarterback at U of L in the early 90s and played eight seasons in the NFL.

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The WKU football team takes on Central Michigan Wednesday night in the Little Caesar's Bowl--the first ever major college bowl game for the Hilltoppers. WKU will look for another big game from their do-everything running back, receiver, and kickoff/punt returner Antonio Andrews, who is looking to set the NCAA record for total yards in a season.

The Little Caesar's Bowl is being televised nationally on ESPN, with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm central time Wednesday evening.

Defensive coordinator Lance Guidry is coaching the Hilltoppers following the departure of former coach Willie Taggart, who left WKU to become the new head coach at South Florida. WKU made national news when they hired former Louisville and Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino just three days after Taggart's depature.

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The New York Times has this story looking at WKU's hiring of Bobby Petrino as the school's next head football coach. The Times says Monday's hiring of Petrino began a discussion over  whether "Western Kentucky had made a Faustian decision to trade its morality for the possibility of on-field success."

As WKU Public Radio reported Monday, athletic director Todd Stewart said Petrino was the number one name on the school's wish list when the head coaching job opened up.

All this took place after Willie Taggart left WKU Friday to become the next head coach at the University of South Florida.

WKU has announced that despite the hiring of Petrino, WKU defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will coach the team Dec. 26 in the Little Caesar's Bowl vs. Central Michigan.

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The new head football coach at WKU was met with applause from a room packed with people Monday afternoon. When Bobby Petrino made his way to the podium alongside WKU athletic director Todd Stewart, he was instantly recognized by college football fans in the Bluegrass State and beyond.

WKU head football coach Willie Taggart is leaving the school to become the coach at the University of South Florida. Taggart is a Florida native who has been an ace Sunshine State recruiter for the Hilltoppers.

Taggart broke the news to his players after Friday's practice, and then boarded a plane that night for Florida.

At a Saturday morning news conference athletic director Todd Stewart said he, like everyone, had been hearing rumors for weeks about Taggert's future and said he really wasn't surprised given what he called the current landscape of college football.

"I was optimistic that he would stay here because of the financial package we could offer him and because, as he has frequently said, WKU is in his DNA," Stewart said, "After more than doubling his salary a year ago, we were prepared to offer him a much better contract than he even had this year but there are some ties to Florida that obviously weight heavily into the situation."

Hilltopper's tight end, senior Jack Doyle, said the team was initially shocked at the news but Stewart spoke to the players early Saturday morning.

"One thing he said was 'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react,'" Doyle said. "So it's up to these seniors to get this team right and get them to react the right way. We've been through so much as seniors the past 4-5 years here so there's nothing that can really divide us now."

WKU defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was named interim head coach while the search for a permanent head coach is underway.

WKU will play Dec. 26 in the Little Caesar's Bowl vs. Central Michigan. The Toppers went 7-5 on the season, including wins against Kentucky, Southern Mississippi, and Sun Belt Conference champ Arkansas State.

Taggert had been earning a base salary of $425,000 a year at WKU. South Florida paid their last head coach $2 million annually. Taggert must pay WKU a $500,000 buyout.

WKU Football Going Bowling in Detroit

Dec 2, 2012

For the first time since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Western Kentucky University football team will play in a postseason bowl. After a 7-5 regular season, WKU formally accepted an invitation Sunday to play on Dec. 26 in Detroit in the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The Hilltoppers will square off against Central Michigan at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at Ford Field on ESPN.

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Just one week after seeing a fourth-quarter lead evaporate, the Western Kentucky University football team scored 15 unanswered points over the final 12:44 to come back for a 25-24 victory over North Texas Saturday on Senior Day at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.