The Western Michigan University
Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
supports 16 NCAA Division I
programs and competes in the
Mid-American Conference (MAC) in all
sports except for men’s ice hockey where
the Broncos are a member of the National
College Hockey Conference (NCHC).
Western Michigan joined the Mid-
American Conference in 1947, a year after
the conference was chartered in 1946,
and is one of the three oldest members of
the conference remaining today. WMU’s
first athletic season was in the sport of
football in 1906.
WMU’s Director of Athletics, Kathy
Beauregard has been involved with the
Broncos in several capacities over the past
38 years and is in her 22nd season as Athletic
Director in 2018-19.
Beauregard is the longest serving
athletic director in the Mid-American
Conference and is just one of nine female
Athletic Directors at the 130 Football Bowl
Subdivision schools. In addition to her
responsibilities overseeing the Division of
Intercollegiate Athletics, Beauregard sits on
the President’s Senior Leadership Cabinet,
assisting WMU President Dr. Edward B.
Montgomery on his leadership counsel.
Beauregard initially came to WMU in 1979
as head women’s gymnastics coach. In nine
seasons (1980-88), she produced two MAC
title teams and was twice named the MAC
Coach of the Year.
Western Michigan has seen success on
and off the field under Beauregard’s guidance
as well facility expansions and upgrades. In
total, WMU has won 57 MAC championships
(27 female - including two coaching titles,
30 male), a CCHA championship in hockey,
and 34 teams have made NCAA Tournament
appearances. The WMU football team has
been invited to seven postseason bowls
during her tenure, including a New Year’s
Six bowl as WMU made an appearance in
the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Across all sports, Western Michigan
has produced numerous award winners,
including All-Americans, Academic
All-Americans, a Campbell Trophy and a
Wuerffel Trophy recipient, the Division
I National Scholar-Athlete of the Year
in men’s soccer, and collected countless
WMU has had several other notable
historic moments and accomplishments.
Western Michigan held the first and second
ever College World Series in 1947 and 1948 at
Hyames Field. Former U.S. President George
H.W. Bush played in the first CWS as a first
baseman for Yale. The Broncos have won
two NCAA team national championships,
both coming in the sport of men’s cross
country (1964 & 1965). WMU finished as
national runners up in 1955 for baseball and
1958 for men’s cross country. The Broncos
have produced one Olympic gold medalist in
Ira Murchison, winner of the gold medal in
4x100 m relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
The 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will
be the Western Michigan football program’s
ninth overall bowl appearance. Other bowl
games include the 1961 Aviation Bowl, 1988
California Bowl, 2007 International Bowl,
2008 Texas Bowl, 2011 Little Caesars Pizza
Bowl, 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl,
2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl and the 2017
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
30 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL | DECEMBER 21, 2018