Letter to the Editor: Judge Kelly Thompson’s opinion on WKU athletics

WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart stands before the Board of Regents on Jan. 26 in Jody Richards Hall to ask that Rick Stansbury’s annual base salary be raised by $150,000. 

Letter submitted by Kelly Thompson Jr., WKU class of 1968. Thompson has served as a judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals since 2006.

A letter to the editor from Mr. Keith Norris of the class of 1988 calls for the replacement of Athletic Director Todd Stewart. The letter criticizes Todd Stewart for the firing of Mike Sanford. The letter states that Mr. Stewart should have given Coach Sanford more time. The letter writer obviously does not believe that same principle should apply to the athletic director. 

Oh, how quickly we forget. Todd Stewart hired Bobby Petrino, who totally upgraded our program. Todd Stewart hired Jeff Brohm who elevated our program to top 25 status. Todd Stewart hired Rick Stansbury. 


Todd Stewart has won more conference championships than any other athletic director in Conference USA since WKU joined in 2014. Todd Stewart has done a wonderful job. However, boring offense and the lack of imaginative play calling was losing our fan base. Todd Stewart made a bold move to revitalize and recapture excitement of the Petrino and Brohm years. He should be commended, not criticized. 

Simply put, this was not an accurate assessment and his call for replacement is premature and unjustified. Todd Stewart made a courageous, difficult decision to fire his friend, Mike Sanford. 

Sincerely yours, 

Kelly Thompson Jr., class of 1968