CONFERENCE USA LEADERS
Since joining Conference USA in 2014-15, the Hilltoppers
have run away from the pack in terms of league
championships and led C-USA each year in championships
won for the first three years WKU was a member school.
WKU’s 27 league titles during its time as a league member
are nine more than the next closest school, and the
Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers have also shown versatility
by winning championships in seven different sport
programs and in all three seasons - fall, winter, and spring.
For the third straight season, WKU produced a league-best
41 C-USA Player of the Week honorees, with nine different
sports producing multiple award winners in the 2018-19
RECORD HIGH IN ACADEMICS
When it comes to getting a degree and a winning culture
on the playing field, there has never been a better time to
be a Hilltopper.
In the 2017-18 Academic Progress Rate report, every WKU
program exceeded the NCAA’s mandated 930 minimum,
while 11 of 14 programs surpassed that threshold by
40 points or more. WKU is one of seven C-USA member
schools to have 11 programs post 970 or higher scores
in the 2017-18 report, highlighted by three programs
(volleyball, women’s golf, women’s tennis) with perfect
For the 2018-19 academic year, 69 WKU student-athletes
earned the ultimate prize, their college diploma, while
boasting a cumulative GPA of 3.21. Conference USA
recognized 151 student-athletes with Commissioner’s
Honor Roll accolades for posting 3.0 or higher cumulative
GPAs and 51 of those student-athletes received academic
medals for posting GPAs of 3.75 or higher.
Big Red, Western Kentucky University’s athletic mascot,
was born in the fall of 1979 and celebrates its birthday
on December 1st. Big Red can be best described as the
Spirit of Western!
The huge, furry, lovable creature was originally designed
and built by WKU student Ralph Carey, (’80 WKU graduate),
of Cincinnati, and made its debut during the Hilltoppers’
1979-80 basketball season. Big Red has become a big hit
with fans of all ages throughout the state and the nation.
Big Red’s signature moves are the belly slide and belly
Big Red is an eight-time participant in the Capital One
Mascot Challenge and, in 2012, Big Red was named the
first member of the Capital One Mascot Hall of Fame. Prior
to the 2013 season, Sports Illustrated rated Big Red as the
number nine mascot in college football.
The ultimate fan and supporter of all WKU’s intercollegiate
sports, Big Red won the “Key to Spirit” award, the highest
honor presented to team mascots at the time, at the
Universal Cheerleading Association competition in 1980,
1981 and again in 1983.
In the spring of 1990, Big Red reached the “Final Four” of
the UCA’s second annual national championship event in
San Antonio, Texas, taking third-place honors. Then, in the
spring of 1996, Big Red reached the “Final Four” of ESPN
SportZone’s “Battle of the Mascots” in public balloting on
Big Red was the centerpiece of ESPN’s promotion of the
25,000th SportsCenter episode, airing in August 2002.
In 2005, Big Red placed second at the Universal
Cheerleader Association’s Summer Camp in Knoxville,
Tenn. Also, in 2005 Big Red was voted the favorite mascot
(of participating schools) at the NCAA Mascot Mania
celebration in Indianapolis, Ind.