Get to know the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Location: Bowling Green, Ky.
President: Dr. Gary A. Ransdell
Athletics Director: Todd Stewart
Football Facility: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium (22,113)
Basketball Facility: E.A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
Media Market: No. 182 Bowling Green (81,030 TV households)
Sponsored Sports: 18
Men (8) — baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming & diving, indoor & outdoor track & field
Women (10) — basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor & outdoor track & field, volleyball
· Western Kentucky University offers 88 academic majors to its 21,124 students. As the fastest growing university in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enrollment has grown 15 consecutive years and is up a total of 45 percent since 1997.
· Since Dr. Gary Ransdell became president in 1997, Western Kentucky has seen $650 million in new construction or renovation. More than $100 million of that amount has been allocated to athletics facilities.
· The men’s basketball program has the 18th most victories in the history of the NCAA. The school has been to the NCAA Tournament 23 times and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1971. The Hilltoppers also made three appearances in the NIT Final Four while it was the premier postseason tournament. In Street & Smith’s “100 Greatest Programs”, Western Kentucky ranked No. 31. WKU also recorded the first 30-win season in NCAA history in the 1937–38 with a record of 30–3.
· The Hilltoppers Sports Satellite Network (HSSN) has helped WKU men’s basketball make more than 150 national television appearances in the last five seasons. HSSN works through a partnership with the university, WKYU-PBS and WKU Athletics. HSSN also has unveiled a $2 million high definition production truck to televise games in full HD.
· Men’s basketball annually led the Sun Belt in season ticket sales, women’s basketball has seen a fan increase of more than 70 percent since 2007 and the football season ticket base has quadrupled since its transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
· Western Kentucky is within a five-hour drive of 10 major cities that have a combined metro population of 17.8 million. More than 35,000 alumni live within 90 minutes of Bowling Green.
· Michael Card — Contemporary Christian music artist
· John Carpenter — Film director (Halloween, Escape From L.A.)
· Damon Cooper — U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and the first Chief of U.S. Naval Reserve
· Romeo Crennel — Former NFL head coach of the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs
· Claire Donahue — 2012 Summer Olympic Games Gold Medalist swimmer
· Steve Gorman — Drummer for The Black Crowes
· Julian Goodman — Former president of National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
· Larnelle Harris — Gospel Singer
· Cordell Hull — Secretary of State under Franklin Rossevelt and Nobel Peace Prize winner
· Courtney Lee — Guard for the National Basketball Association's Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics
· Matt Long — Actor (Mad Men, Private Practice)
· Charles Napier — Actor
· Edwin Norris — Former Governor of Montana
· Kenny Perry — Professional golfer
· Larry Renfro — CEO of Optum and Executive Vice President at UnitedHealth Group
· Michael Rosenbaum — Actor (Smallville)
· David Schramm — Actor (Wings)
· Chris Turner — Former catcher for Major Leabue Baseball's New York Yankees
· Terrence Wilcutt — United States astronaut