WKU senior center Sean Conway has been named to the watch list for the 2013 Rimington Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's top center.
In 2012, Conway started every game on the WKU schedule for the third-straight season, tallying 13 starts on the year to bringing his career total to 37. He took every offensive snap for the second-straight season and was one of three Hilltopper offensive linemen to start each game. Conway propelled WKU to the third best rushing offense in the Sun Belt at 181.7 yards per game, helping ball carriers to an average of 4.7 yards per carry. He aided running back Antonio Andrews to a single-season WKU record of 1,728 rushing yards, including another school-record 10 100-yard rushing performances. He also blocked for quarterback Kawaun Jakes who set WKU's single-season record for passing touchdowns (22).
Conway is the third Hilltopper to earn the honor of being selected to a preseason watch list for a major college football award in the last week. Senior running back Antonio Andrews has been named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award and Maxwell Award while junior linebacker Andrew Jackson has been selected to the Bednarik Award watch list.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.5 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The fourteen-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $100 million for CF Research.
Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.
The fall watch list includes 17 returning players from the 2012 Watch List. In all, there are 44 players on the Watch List. The SEC leads the way with nine players while the PAC-12 and the Mountain West Conference check in with five players each.
For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.
PETRINO AMONG TOP COACHES IN NATION ACCORDING TO SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: WKU head coach Bobby Petrino has been recognized as one of the nation's 10 best coaches by Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel. Mandel touts Petrino's offensive game-planning and play-calling aptitude as reasons he is among the nation's elite coaches. Other on the top 10 list include Alabama's Nick Saban, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and LSU's Les Miles.
Previously, Petrino's hire at WKU was listed the nation's top college football hire for 2013 in the Athlon Sports' College Football Preview. Petrino, who is entering his first year as head coach of the Hilltoppers, owns a 75-26 career record as a collegiate head coach, with seven bowl game appearances, including appearances in the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl and the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl. Petrino is the 11th ranked coach in the nation among active coaches in terms of career winning percentage. Among those with at least eight years of experience, he ranks sixth overall.
UNIFORMS TO BE UNVEILED NEXT WEEK: WKU will reveal new football uniforms for the 2013 season next week on July 18, 2013 during the Big Red Rally & Reveal, presented by Alumni Hall, at Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green at 6:00 p.m. CT. The new uniforms are made by WKU's apparel provider Russell Athletic. The event is being held in the jcpenny Court at Greenwood Mall. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the unveiling of the new uniforms. Following the unveiling of the new uniforms, WKU head coach Bobby Petrino, select assistant coaches and special guests will be on hand to sign autographs from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. A question and answer session with the assembled members of the coaching staff will follow until 8:00 p.m. WKU Cheerleaders, Topperettes and Big Red will also be in attendance at the event.
The first 500 fans will receive a free WKU/Russell drawstring bag at the event. Fans will also have the chance to pick up the new football schedule poster for the 2013 season.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR UK GAME, HOME SCHEDULE: Season tickets for the 2013 home football schedule are on sale now through WKUSports.com, by visiting the WKU Ticket Office in E.A. Diddle Arena or by calling 1-800-5 BIG RED.
In addition to season tickets, single game tickets for the game with Kentucky in Nashville on Aug. 31 at 6:00 p.m. CT are currently on sale. Tickets are priced at $67 for club level, $47 for lower level sideline, $32 for upper sideline and $22 for upper corner. To ensure seating in the WKU fan sections, all fans are encouraged to order tickets through the WKU Ticket Office. General public tickets may be ordered online at WKUSports.com or by calling 1-800-5-BIG RED or 270-745-5222 locally. Parking passes for this game may be ordered through Ticketmaster.com or through the WKU Ticket Office. The first 4,000 WKU students at the game on August 31 with a valid ID will receive a free ticket to the game. After 4,000, student tickets will be $13.
For complete coverage of WKU Football, visit www.wkusports.com, or follow the program on Twitter via @WKU_Football or @CoachPetrinoWKU.
Upcoming WKU Football Calendar of Events July 15 - Sun Belt Conference Media Day (New Orleans, Louisiana) July 18 - Big Red Rally & Reveal at Greenwood Mall from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT August 17 - Football Fan Fest (formerly Family Fun Day) at Knicely Conference Center on WKU's South Campus from 2-4pm CT August 31 - WKU vs. Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. at 6:00 p.m. CT