Western Kentucky athletic director Todd Stewart has been a member of the WKU campus community since before the Hilltoppers football program transitioned to the FBS ranks, meaning that he also witnessed the program’s 26-game losing streak.
Since being appointed athletic director in 2012, Stewart has overseen a very different look Hilltopper football program. The program has been steadily building under his leadership, including a 2012 team that went 7-6, followed by an 8-4 year in 2013. Following the 2013 season, Stewart tabbed Jeff Brohm to replace Bobby Petrino, and Brohm led the team to an 8-5 finish in 2014, his first year as a college head coach. This season, WKU is sitting at 10-2 with an appearance in the C-USA title game on Saturday at noon against Southern Miss.
That type of success at the Group of Five level has definitely drawn the eyes of Power Five conference programs looking to hire quality assistant coaches and coordinators. The Hilltopper offense, led by offensive coordinator Tyson Helton, ranks in the top ten in total offense, passing offense, and scoring. Helton, along with head coach Jeff Brohm (who is set to interview at Virginia, according to reports) and a number of the WKU assistant coaches, have done impressive work this season and are deserving of any attention they may receive for openings on other staffs.
In a recent Q&A with the Courier-Journal, Stewart was asked about how he deals with coaches being courted by other schools, and his response started off as many do, but then he added an important nugget at the end of his answer.
“The way I try to look at it is, we have great coaches. I’ve never felt better about our football coaches from the head coach to every position coach than I do this year. We’ll do everything we can to keep them. Certainly, not being in a Power 5 conference, there are financial limitations we have that schools with openings don’t have.” Steward explained.
“The way I try to look at it is, if somebody’s interested in our coach, that means we’re having a great season, and that’s a good problem to have. If you go three to five years and nobody’s interested in your people, then maybe you don’t have the right people.”