Former Toppers, Ransdell give up rings waiting on next WKU championship

President Gary Ransdell did what several others have done by offering up his 2002 Division I-AA championship ring and saying he won’t come back to get it until WKU wins a Sun Belt Championship.

Cole Claybourn

Head Coach Willie Taggart hopes to bring back the old days of WKU football, and it was another former Topper who helped him put the movement in action.

Pat Reynolds, who played on WKU’s 2002 Division I-AA championship team, offered up his ring and said he wouldn’t come back to get it until the Toppers won a Sun Belt ConferenceChampionship.

Taggart put his up, too, which he received as an assistant coach.

On Monday night, Taggart tweeted that President Gary Ransdell did the same thing after speaking to the team following the day’s practice.

“That was huge,” Taggart said. “I was shocked. I saw that and was like, ‘Woah.’ You talk about pressure. But I love it. Again, it’s showing our guys that what Coach Taggart is saying to them is not a joke. There’s a lot of people counting on you to do well and want this football team to do well.

“To see the president come in and say he wants his ring back  quick   you better get to work.”

Taggart said other members of the 2002 team plan on giving up their rings as well.

The second-year head coach said he was pleased to see Ransdell instill so much confidence in him and the team.

“He just has high expectations for this university and everything that’s involved with this university,” Taggart said. “He’s done some great things for this university. I told our football team, we’ve got to get our football team up on the university level. We’re going to do it.

“Dr. Ransdell has had success because he does have that confidence. I love working for a guy like.”

Ransdell was also presented with his very own blue-collared shirt, which has become the norm for coaches to wear during practices signifying their new “blue-collar approach.”

Legendary coach Jimmy Feix also spoke to the team, as he has done from time to time throughout Taggart’s tenure.

Continuing with what has become one of the main themes of the 2011 season, Feix reminded the team of WKU’s winning tradition and gave a vote of confidence that those winning ways would come back.

When talking about Feix, Taggart pointed to his blue-collared work shirt and said, “Coach Feix was this right here  blue collar.”

“Our guys hear about Coach Feix and it was the first time that a lot of these guys got to see him,” Taggart said.

Feix was scheduled to speak to the team during spring practice, but he became ill two days prior and had to cancel.

“It was a big day for them to see the guy that the field is named after,” Taggart said. “It’s a guy we want to make proud.”