Western Kentucky University’s Toppers on Tour will be making six stops over 19 days in June, starting Friday (June 4) at Good Ol’ Days BBQ Farm in Versailles. The program, at 544 Old Frankfort Pike, is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Featured will be: Ross Bjork, director of intercollegiate athletics; Willie Taggart, fooball coach; Ken McDonald, men’s basketball coach; Mary Taylor Cowles, women’s basketball coach; Chris Finwood, baseball coach, along with student-athletes, cheerleaders, Topperettes and mascot Big Red.
Other scheduled stops on the tour will be in the Louisville, Elizabethtown, Nashville, Glasgow and Owensboro areas. The schedule: June 14, 6:30 p.m., Heritage Hills Golf Club in Shepherdsville; June 15, 5:30 p.m., Lincoln Trail Country Club in Vine Grove; June 17, 7 p.m. (6 CDT), at the home of Julie Taleghani, 1416 Willowbrook Circle in Franklin, Tenn.; June 21, 6:30 p.m. (5:30 CDT), Glasgow Country Club in Glasgow; and June 22, 6:30 p.m. (5:30 CDT), WKU-Owensboro, 4821 New Hartford Road.
Bjork was hired by Western on March 12. He worked the previous five seasons as senior associate athletic director for development and external relations at UCLA. He had previous stops at Miami (Fla.), Missouri and, in 1996-97, was assistant development coordinator at WKU.
Taggart, a quarterback who set 11 school records from 1995 through 1998, is one of four players in WKU’s 91-year football history to have his jersey retired. He was named head coach last Nov. 23. He had been running backs coach at Stanford (2007-09) and, before that, served eight season on the Hilltoppers staff.
Cowles is a three-time Sun Belt Conference coach of the year. She has been head coach the past eight seasons, served seven seasons as an assistant coach and played four seasons. She has been a part of 426 of the program’s 806 all-time wins.
McDonald is entering his third season as men’s basketball coach. In his first season, he led the Hilltoppers to their 41st conference championship and a first-round victory over Illinois in the NCAA Tournament. Under McDonald, WKU also has wins over Louisville, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Georgia.
Finwood is in his fifth season as baseball coach. He was coach of the year in the Sun Belt in 2009, when he led the Hilltoppers to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. WKU had a school-record six players drafted by Major League Baseball last year.