Students are making waves with WKU athletics

Kalee Chism

One organization on campus, WKU Red Wave, is focusing on keeping a spirited atmosphere at all WKU athletic events.

Jared Glen Willis, the executive director of Red Wave and a junior from Leitchfield, says being a member of Red Wave is different for each person, but they all come together for a common goal.

“What Red Wave means to me is to get students more involved in athletic events,” Willis said. “It’s about bringing out that Hilltopper spirit that’s in each one of us, making our home events one of the toughest places to play in the country and carrying on our Hilltopper traditions.”

Red Wave is the official student organization for WKU athletics. Thomas Harris, the director of student promotions and fan engagements for WKU, is an organization founder. 

“It is a way for students to earn points by coming to games and have those points earned in prizes,” he said. 

Red Wave began after a decrease in student attendance at sporting events. Organizers believed that having a set group of students to keep the spirit alive would help stop this decline.

“We also wanted to offer special programs for our students that would bring them to games and also to be more involved on campus,” Harris said.

Red Wave focuses on bringing students together to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere and to offer athletics as much support as possible at home games.

“Red Wave brings people who root for the Tops together as one, and it creates the electric atmosphere,” said Michael Garcia, a junior from Elizabethtown and member of Red Wave.

Red Wave has a membership fee of $5, which guarantees a wristband, a T-shirt and an opportunity to join in the point system. 

“[It] just gives you the opportunity to get up close with the student-athletes and coaches by attending the games and letting them know that you support what they do for this university,” said Garcia.

Red Wave allows members to meet students who share the same passion for WKU athletics while earning points and making unforgettable memories, according to Garcia.  

Brendan Ward, a freshman from Memphis, is a member of Red Wave and has created a Big Red Towel Cape, showcasing all the towels he has earned during his time on the Hill.

“It’s different because it’s about sports and students getting involved in sports more than just being a part of a group,” said Ward.

For Ward, Red Wave helps to instill and showcase Hilltopper spirit at athletic events.

“Red Wave has given me confidence about being a student,” said Ward.