Exactly one month in advance of kickoff of the 2014 football season, the WKU Football program will host a season kickoff party at the Buffalo Wild Wings in St. Matthews in Louisville. The event will run from 7-9 pm ET (6-8 pm CT) on July 29. The kickoff party will be at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Shelbyville Road Plaza located at 4600 Shelbyville Road.
"The state of Kentucky, including the city of Louisville, has always been important to me and is a key component in the growth of our football program at WKU," said head coach Jeff Brohm. "We are thrilled to bring the excitement of WKU football to the Louisville area to celebrate the start of football season. Louisville has a huge WKU alumni base and many members of our program have ties to the city. This kickoff event allows us to reach out and connect to our loyal, statewide support and continue to broaden our fan base."
The event will feature autographs, interactive football games, prizes and giveaways and food specials. Brohm, WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart and select Hilltoppers of local interest will also speak at the event. It is also the first chance for fans in the Louisville area to pick up 2014 WKU Football schedule posters and schedule cards in the city prior to the season.
In addition, fans will be able to buy chances to win a 2014 Corvette. The Big Red Vette Raffle is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation and WKU Athletics. Currently in its 21st year, the Raffle has raised over $2 million towards WKU student-athlete scholarship funding. Raffle tickets are sold at $10 each. The winner is drawn live at halftime of the final Hilltopper home football game each year and has the choice between accepting the car or $35,000 cash; you do not have to be present to win. The 2014 drawing will take place at halftime of the WKU vs. UTSA football game on November 22nd, 2014.
The 2014 roster features 13 players with ties to the Louisville area.
Among the notable returning stars from the Louisville area are former Pleasure Ridge Park receiver Taywan Taylor and former Central running back Anthony "Ace" Wales. Taylor ranked second among rookies and sixth overall with 24 receptions and 270 yards in 2013 for the Hilltoppers, making seven starts and seeing action with the first-team offense during the spring. Wales showed off his speed with limited touches behind Antonio Andrews and Leon Allenin 2013, including a career high 65 rushing yards on 11 carries in route to his first career touchdown vs. Morgan State.
Other players from the city on the roster include Daeshawn Bertram (Trinity), Joe Brown (Butler), Will Bush (Ballard), DeAndre Farris (Collins), Juwan Gardner (DuPont Manual), Shawn Lacey (Southern), De'Vonta Moffitt (Doss), Matt Nord (DeSales), Darmontre Warr (DuPont Manual), Masai Whyte (Collins) and Deon Yelder(Southern).
It will mark the first major public event in the city of Louisville involving Brohm, a native son of the city, since he was named the head coach of the Hilltoppers in December.
Brohm was one of four family members to earn a gridiron letter from Louisville. He wrapped up his four-year collegiate career with the Cardinals as one of the most prolific offensive players to wear Louisville's jersey. As a three-year starter for the Cards, Brohm ranks among the all-time leaders for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, total offense and completion percentage.
Brohm was voted the team's MVP in both 1992 and 1993, and always will be remembered for a gritty performance in leading Louisville to an 18-7 victory over Michigan State in the 1993 Liberty Bowl, one of Schnellenberger's six career bowl victories. Playing with two steel pins and one steel plate in the index finger of his throwing hand, Brohm completed 19-of-29 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown, all while playing in 20-degree temperatures and freezing rain to earn the game's MVP award.
Brohm was an also an elite three-sport athlete during his prep days at Louisville's Trinity High, located just down the road from the site of the kickoff event. Brohm excelled in football, baseball and basketball in his time playing at Trinity.
Brohm was named an All-District, All-Region and All-State selection as both a junior and senior. He was also an All-Southern and Dixie Dozen selection as a senior and was named the Bobby Dodd Back of the Year and the Atlanta Touchdown Club Back of the Year following the 1988 season. He helped lead his 1988 team to an undefeated record and was later named to the "Team of the Decade" by the Louisville Courier-Journal. He finished his prep career with 1,707 yards passing and 20 touchdowns as a senior in addition to 602 yards on the ground on 185 carries with 12 touchdowns. In all, he threw for 3,341 yards in three seasons while rushing for 1,006 yards. He threw 35 touchdowns and ran for an additional 21 scores.