Former Hilltopper Football Coach Jack Harbaugh was at WKU on the weekend of Sept. 22 to be a part of the celebration of his 2002 National Championship Team and his 1992 team that survived the threat of suspension and kept the sport alive. During that visit, he sat down in the WKYU-PBS studios with former WKU Sports Information Director Paul Just to reminisce about his days on The Hill. Live from the WKYU-PBS studios, Barbara Deeb and Wes Strader will host a broadcast of that discussion at 8 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 28). A Conversation with Jack Harbaugh will replay on Dec. 1 after the Hilltoppers at Troy basketball game, and again on Dec. 2 at 9 p.m.
Harbaugh came to WKU as head coach of Hilltopper football in 1989 and directed the fortunes of WKU athletes on the gridiron for 14 seasons. He retired from coaching following the 2002 season after leading his last Topper team to a 12-3 record and winning the school’s first-ever NCAA National Championship. He completed his career on the Hill trailing only legendary football coach Jimmy Feix in years coached (14), games coached (159) and victories (91). And, following the 2002 team’s march to the NCAA I-AA National Championship, he became the only coach in WKU history to be honored as National Coach of the Year (by the American Football Coaches Association).
But perhaps his most notable accomplishment was his involvement in the 1992 struggle to keep Hilltopper football alive after University budget problems resulted in a recommendation that the sport be suspended. A concerted effort by Harbaugh, the WKU athletic administration, former athletes and coaches, alumni, students and fans saved the program and, a decade later, Hilltopper football reigned as National Champions.
Contact: WKYU-PBS, (270) 745-2400.
(Source: WKU News, Nov 20, 2012)