WKU to Honor Legendary Voice of the Hilltoppers Wes Strader

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — As part of its season-long celebration of "50 Seasons of Diddle Arena" in 2012-13, WKU will honor legendary "Voice of the Hilltoppers" Wes Strader in a ceremony during the February 21 game against ULM.

Strader spent 36 years from 1964-2000 calling play-by-play for Hilltopper football and men's basketball, and he was behind the microphone for some of the most memorable moments in WKU history and brought countless stories of teams, student-athletes, coaches and events into the living rooms of Hilltopper faithful across the region.

"Wes Strader is a trusted and respected voice of consistency who has connected many of the greatest moments in our athletic history from one generation to another," WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. "For 36 years Wes was the bridge between our athletic programs and fans who routinely gathered around their radios to hear his description of WKU games, and for many more years he has been active in the Bowling Green community and an advocate for WKU Athletics. We are thrilled to be able to honor Wes as part of our '50 Seasons of Diddle Arena' celebration."

"I would like to express my deep appreciation for the people at the university who made this decision," Strader said. "I have been a Hilltopper fan my entire life. My parents were season ticket holders, we used to come to all of the home games and one of my biggest heroes is John Oldham. I have always said that I feel like one of the few people who got to do what they wanted to do in life exactly where they wanted to do it. I could not be more appreciative of this university, these athletic programs and all of the student-athletes, coaches, fans and colleagues I have met throughout the years."

Some of the highlights of Strader's career as the "Voice of the Hilltoppers" include calling men's basketball's appearances in the 1971 Final Four and the 1993 Sweet 16 and football’s trips to the 1973 and 1975 national championship games.

Strader continues to host a radio show in Bowling Green twice a week that includes discussion of WKU Athletics, and he also hosts the "Topper Tailgate" radio show before Hilltopper football games, a men's basketball pre-game show and the "Hilltopper Hotline" call-in show after men's basketball games.

Strader is an honorary member of WKU's Alumni W-Club.