WKU football coaches, players host kickoff party in Louisville

Running back Anthony Wales, 18, of Louisville, KY is introduced at a WKU sponsored event at Buffalo Wild Wings in Louisville, KY celebrating nine in-state commitments to the WKU football team. WILLIAM KOLB/HERALD

Billy Rutledge

LOUISVILLE — WKU football head coach Jeff Brohm has Hilltopper fans in Bowling Green excited for the team’s inaugural Conference USA season and after paying a visit to Louisville on Tuesday, he has fans 107 miles up Interstate-65 anticipating what’s to come as well.

The team hosted a kickoff party in Louisville on Tuesday in a packed house at an area Buffalo Wild Wings. The evening included speeches from Brohm, Athletic Director Todd Stewart and several players regarding the importance of the Louisville area in recruiting and as a growing fan base.

“It’s vital. The two largest alumni bases we have outside of Bowling Green are Louisville and Nashville,” Stewart said. “We need to have a presence here and, ultimately, if we are going to grow our fan base the way we really need to and want to, we are going to have to get fans outside of Bowling Green – and this is a great area to get some from.”

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The link between the WKU football program and the city of Louisville should come as no surprise. The WKU football coaching staff has a combined 64 years of collegiate football coaching experience in the state of Kentucky under its belt and at least one assistant coach has coached in the state for each of the past 19 years.

Not to mention Brohm attended and played at Louisville from 1989-93 and served as the quarterbacks coach for the Cardinals from 2003-06, assistant head coach in 2007 and assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2008.

“When you look around this room here, it’s like we’re in Bowling Green – there is red everywhere,” Stewart said. “It shows you the amount of respect that Jeff Brohm has in Louisville. He can be a huge catalyst for us in this area; people here grew up knowing the Brohm name. It’s been a great night.”

It was also announced from the office of the mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer, that July 29 will be known as “Western Kentucky University Day” in Louisville. After the ceremony, fans were given the opportunity to meet the WKU football coaching staff and players as well as enter to win Hilltopper merchandise and buy chances to win a red 2014 Corvette.