Tag Archives: WKU Athletics
The Elevator was the first student publication at Western Kentucky State Normal School. It was published “monthly” during the school year from 1909 through 1916. Volume II has been posted on TopScholar using optical character recognition software to make the issues full-text searchable. In this first volume are accounts of the first baseball team: “we have hopes of securing a professional coach;” faculty activities: “Prof. Webb went fishing and swimming in a creek in east Tenn,” lists of graduates; news from alumni: “Miss Lillian Moore is teaching English and History in the Natchez Miss. High School;” student compositions; advertisements for local merchants and general news of the school. Check it out on TopScholar.
Anna Fisher of McHenry, Kentucky attended WKU and graduated in the Class of 1932. This scrapbook includes unique items not found elsewhere in the University Archives collections including a homecoming poster for WKU vs University of Louisville football game and game program for WKU vs Cumberland College, 1928.
Anna Fisher went on to teach at Bunker Hill in Equality, Kentucky. A scrapbook she kept during those years “Memories of Bunker Hill School, 1929-1930” is also available in the Kentucky Library Call # SBK166. Ask to see it in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Building.
Check out this and similar student/alumni collections in TopScholar.
E.A. Diddle came to WKU in 1922 as athletic director. He coached the football team through 1929 and the baseball team until 1957. But as most people know, he came to fame waving a red towel while coaching the Hilltopper basketball team to a 759-302 career record.
A collection of records regarding Diddle has been created from a variety of sources including the Diddle family. These records, housed in University Archives, include early athletic department correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks and interviews.
The red towel tradition began in the 1940’s. According to Chip Royal, an AP feature writer “A towel came flying down out of the air at Madison Square Garden and landed on a spectator’s head — and another basketball fan met Ed Diddle, the colorful Western Kentucky State coach.” Royal’s article was printed in the Daily News on February 14, 1943. The towels continued to appear and disappear as the athletics and physical education departments swiped towels back and forth. Diddle decided to dye the athletic department towels red to differentiate from the physical education supply.
Through the years the towel tradition has grown. Now few fans appear at a game without a red towel. In 1970, athletics director John Oldham drew a sketch of an arm waving a towel on the back of an envelope which he gave to Dr. Chuck Crume to develop into a logo. These original drawings are now housed in the University Archives along with personal papers of Ed Diddle, John Oldham, Chuck Crume and others involved with the athletic program.
WKU athletic records and photographs are a hot item in University Archives. We answer many questions related to coaching staff, student athletes and teams throughout the year. In order to facilitate research several series of records have been processed and detailed finding aids made available online. These include two sets of photographs:
- Athletic Media Relations Photograph Collection (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/75/)
- Athletics section of the WKU Archives Photograph Collection (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/29/ ).
Digitized images are available through KenCat (http://wku.pastperfect-online.com/35749cgi/mweb.exe?request=ks).
Several athletic department office records have been processed.
- Athletic Director’s Records (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/78)
- Baseball Office 1947-1959 (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/66/)
- Athletic Media Relations
These last records are especially useful to anyone interested in the Hilltoppers as they consist of Media Guides for every major sport(http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/55/), Student Biographical File 1979-2004 (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/54/) and Clipping File 1962-present (http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/53/).
We are currently processing the Basketball Office records which consist of correspondence regarding schedules, tournaments and athletes and hope to have a finding aid posted in the near future.
The University Archives also houses an extensive film, video and audio collection, the bulk of which is made up of athletic film. The master list is available online at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/198/
If you have Hilltopper documents, photographs or memorabilia that don’t appear in the finding aids, please contact the University Archives at 270-745-4793 or via email at email@example.com.
Check out KenCat to get information on other University Archives collections: http://wku.pastperfect-online.com/35749cgi/mweb.exe?request=ks