Western Kentucky University is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky
Western Kentucky University was founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1906, though its roots reach back a quarter-century earlier. In the fall 2011 semester, enrollment was approximately 21,000.
The subject of heavy construction since the late 1990s, the main campus sits atop a hill with a commanding view of the Barren River valley. The campus flows from the top of College Heights, also known as The Hill, down its north, south and west faces. WKU also operates a satellite campus in Bowling Green (WKU South Campus Academic Wing) and regional campuses in Glasgow, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox and Owensboro.
The men’s athletic teams are known as the Hilltoppers and the women’s teams as the Lady Toppers. Their mascot is known as Big Red. The mascot itself has become one of the most popular characters in collegiate sports, even appearing in a series of ESPN promotions. WKU was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 1982 to 2014. From 1948 to 1982, it was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. On July 1, 2014 all WKU athletics moved to Conference USA.
The WKU swim team consistently places in the top 5 in the Mid-Major National Rankings. In 2006 their men were undefeated in dual meets and were Sun Belt Conference Champions. The women won five consecutive championships from 2001–2005.In 2005, after 37 years as head coach, Coach Bill Powell became an assistant coach, and holds record for being the second winningest coach in men’s swimming in NCAA dual meet history. The baseball team has enjoyed some success recently as well, winning the Sun Belt Conferencetournament championship in 2009. In April 2010, the WKU baseball team defeated the University of Kentucky 24–8 in a game at Bowling Green Ballpark. The crowd of 6,183 set the record for largest crowd to ever attend a college baseball game in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.