Get To Know: Western Kentucky

Every week, BI gets you closer to Texas State's next opponent. This week, it's Western Kentucky - the Hilltoppers.

Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not to be confused with Bowling Green, Ohio, where Bowling Green State University is located, home of the Falcons. The two cities are located roughly six hours apart.

Different school names: 8

If you think Texas State University has gone through a lot of signage changes, visit the history books of Western Kentucky. The University didn't get the current name until 1966 and had seven different names it's first 60 years of existence.

Most prominent building: Pearce-Ford Hall

Pearce-Ford Hall, the largest dormitory on campus, is the second largest dorm hall in the nation. It stands 27 stories tall.

Unusual academic achievements:

The school is known for its debate teams, it's degree in folklore and its journalism programs. 25 graduates of WKU have won the Pulitzer Prize. WKU also became the second school in the country to offer a degree in popular culture studies in the fall of 2009. The first to do so? You guessed it, oddly enough, Bowling Green State University.

Mascot: Big Red

Big Red is a red, furry blob and he is the Hilltoppers mascot. He was created in 1979 by a student and is in the Mascot Hall of Fame (did you even know there was one?)

Prominant Athletic Programs: Swimming, Men's Basketball

While football won the national FCS Championship in 2002, their are two other programs that have a longer winning tradition. Swimming is routinely considered as one of the top mid-major swimming programs in the country and basketball takes center stage at the school. The head coach, Ray Harper, is the 14th most winningest coach in NCAA history. The team has won 41 conference titles, trailing only Kentucky and Kansas for the national lead. The team made it to the Sweet 16 in 2008, losing by 2 points to UCLA. Western Kentucky Athletics moves out of the Sun Belt at the end of this athletic year and into Conference USA, effective July 1, 2014.

Notable Hilltoppers:

Chester Hurdle - President of the Baltimore Ravens, Rod Smart - former XFL player known as "He Hate Me", Courtney Lee - current Boston Celtics guard, Jeremy Evans - 2012 NBA slam dunk champion and Claire Donahue - Gold medalist swimmer from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

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