June 16, 2000
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Members of the Board of Directors of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation present at a meeting held last night with Western Kentucky University President Dr. Gary Ransdell voted unanimously to endorse WKU's application for member status in the Gateway Conference. Dr. Ransdell, WKU Athletics Director Dr. Wood Selig, and WKU head football coach Jack Harbaugh reviewed with the HAF Board of Directors the options available for the future of WKU football.
"Although we were disappointed with the abrupt decision of the Ohio Valley Conference that has forced us to look in a new direction for a conference affiliation in football, we are excited to know that the Gateway Conference offers the opportunity for upgrading our level of competition and providing our student-athletes the chance to compete in the top Division I-AA conference," said Ron Sowell, President of the HAF. Information shared with the HAF Board of Directors clearly indicated that the Gateway Conference members have enjoyed the most success in postseason play among all Division I-AA conferences during the past three years.
"Western has benefitted from its long history with the OVC and I know that our fans, administrators and coaches wish our friends at the OVC member institutions the very best of luck in the future," Sowell added. "Under the leadership of Drs. Ransdell and Selig, and with our outstanding educator and coach, Jack Harbaugh, the HAF Board of Directors is confident that a bright future is ahead for Western football."