Doughty, Noble Named WKU Athletes of the Year Following Successful Year Two in C-USA

June 15, 2016 BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As WKU puts the finishing touches on another successful athletic and academic season, football’s Brandon Doughty and women’s basketball’s Kendall Noble have been named WKU’s Athletes of the Year for 2015-16.

Doughty and Noble each helped lead their teams to successful seasons and each came away with the honor of being named the Conference Player of the Year in their respective sports.

"This is a very deserving recognition for Kendall and Brandon," Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. "Their exemplary individual achievements in many cases set unprecedented standards, but more importantly resulted in significant team success."

Conference Competition
WKU won six conference championships and a second consecutive bowl game in 2015-16, including the program’s first-ever FBS conference championship in football. A year after becoming the first team in C-USA history to win eight championships and a bowl game in the same year, the Hilltoppers held serve and again led the league in championships won. WKU’s 14 league championships over the past two seasons are double the next closest school (Rice, 7).

Football took home dominant victories in the league’s East Division and Conference Championship games, defeating Marshall and Southern Miss by an average margin of 19 points en route to becoming the second most dominant league champion in C-USA’s 20-year history. Volleyball repeated as the league’s regular season and conference tournament champions, marking their fourth championship titles in two years. WKU also took home a pair of championships in men’s track and field as the Hilltoppers won both the indoor and outdoor conference meets, repeating as indoor champions.

Winning Culture
Over the last two seasons, nobody has taken care of business on the playing field like WKU. Across football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, WKU’s 179 combined wins are the most in the country among the 125 FBS schools while the program’s 75.8-percent winning percetange across those same sports is second-best nationally.

WKU sent three programs on to postseason play, including football, volleyball, and women’s basketball with NCAA qualifiers in multiple events in track and field.

While WKU won on the field of play, Hilltopper student-athletes are champions off the field as well. In 2015-16, WKU achieved an APR score of 950 or higher, 20 points higher than the NCAA’s mandated 930 minimum, across all sports for the first time in school history. Forty-one student athletes received C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals for posting cumulative GPA’s of 3.75 or higher while 155 were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll list.

In total, 109 student-athletes graduated in 2015-16 with 32 earning their degrees in December 2015 and another 77 in May 2016.

Athletes of the Year
On top of another impressive year for WKU’s student-athletes, two stood above the rest and were named WKU’s Athletes of the Year as a result: Brandon Doughty and Kendall Noble.

Doughty became the first-ever back-to-back winner of the league’s Most Valuable Player honors and led the Hilltoppers to their first-ever Associated Press Top 25 ranking and, arguably, the greatest season in program history. Doughty led the nation in passing yards (5,055) and passing touchdowns (48) for the second consecutive year and added a third national-best number, completion percentage (71.9), in 2015. In total, he wrapped up his WKU career by setting 37 school records and was drafted by his hometown Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Davie, Fla., native earned All-America recognition from Athlon Sports and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS, Manning, and Unitas Golden Arm awards on top of earning the first-ever votes by a WKU football player for the prestigious Heisman Memorial Trophy.

On the hardwood, Noble became just the fourth player in C-USA history to sweep both the Player and Defensive Player of the Year award during her stellar 2015-16 season that saw her rank in the top 10 in C-USA in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. In addition to her individual honors, Noble was named First Team All-C-USA and was a four-time C-USA Player of the Week, tied for the most among all players in the conference. Noble became the first player in WKU’s storied history to record a triple-double, doing so twice against C-USA competition in 2015-16. In addition to her on-court accolades, the Hazard, Ky., native became WKU’s first CoSIDA Academic All-American since 1981, earning Third Team honors from the organization to join Alicia Polson and Laurie Heltsley as the only recipients in program history.