Membership in the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation serves as an investment in WKU Athletics and more importantly, Hilltopper student-athletes. Since its inception in 1965, the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation has served as the financial lifeblood of Hilltopper Athletics, contributing over $2 million annually towards student-athlete scholarships, facility renovations and athletic department operational expenses. Thanks to the continued support of over 1600 loyal members, WKU student-athletes are provided essential resources to compete athletically, while simultaneously receiving a valuable degree from WKU.
The Hilltopper Athletic Foundation's mission is to provide the necessary scholarships to allow as many student-athletes as possible the opportunity for an athletic and academic experience at Western Kentucky University and to further support WKU athletics through private philanthropy and visibility.
MEET THE STAFF
Associate Athletic Director for Development
Jim Clark is in his 10th year at WKU after joining the Hilltopper athletic department in 2000. He oversees external operations in the athletic department as well as the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation. He also serves as the development director for major gifts for WKU Athletics and oversees postseason championship coordination and travel.
Clark works closely with board members, donors, prospective donors and volunteers and is responsible for developing and monitoring a comprehensive fund raising program with a major emphasis on increased annual giving. Under his leadership, HAF assets have grown from slightly over $1 million in 2002 to over $6 million in 2009. HAF annual direct contributions to WKU athletics have grown from $300,000 to over $700,000, and the group's annual membership has also grown from 678 to over 1,500. During his tenure at WKU, Clark also organized the total re-seating of E.A. Diddle Arena in 2003 while also cultivating and selling 16 luxury suites.
Clark also served as WKU's Coordinator of Marketing and Promotions from 1992-93 before working as the Development Associate at the University of Mississippi from 1993-2000.
As Development Associate for the Ole Miss Loyalty Foundation, Clark increased annual giving 300% from 1993-99. He assisted in the university's $13 million football stadium expansion campaign and planned coaches' caravan tours and the Loyalty Foundation Golf Tournament. He was responsible for the solicitation and sales of 1,000 rebel club seats, generating $1,000,000 annually, and was instrumental in the sale of Sky Suites for the Rebels' 2002 football stadium expansion.
During his first stint at WKU, Clark developed a comprehensive corporate sponsorship package for WKU Athletics and sold and administered corporate sponsorships and ticket packages. He also started the student athletics Booster Club and assisted with HAF's annual membership campaign and auction. He also sold and administered corporate sponsorships, ticket packages and season ticket sales for revenue producing sports.
A native of McComb, Miss., Clark is an active member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors and enjoys golf & traveling in his spare time. He earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana in 1989, while obtaining a master's degree in Sports Administration from Southern Mississippi in 1991.
Major Gifts Officer
Kyle Chapman joined the HAF staff in February, 2011 and will be responsible for developing relationships with WKU supporters and potential donors to solicit and close gifts in support of capital projects, scholarship endowments, and annual fund operations. Originally from Bowling Green, KY, Chapman graduated from WKU in 1999 and was a member of the Hilltopper basketball team. Chapman was the team captain in '99 and was named scholar athlete of the year his senior year. In addition, Chapman is one of only two Hilltopper players to ever win the E.A. Diddle Award twice. The award is given to the individual who displays leadership, character, loyalty, ability, and love for their fellow man. The award was initiated in 1971 by the Bowling Green Civitan Club in honor of E.A. Diddle who coached the Hilltoppers for 42 seasons and still, more than four decades after his retirement, ranks among college basketball's all-time winningest coaches.
Chapman comes back to WKU after spending the last 11 years working in the NASCAR industry. With a vast experience with sponsorships, marketing and public relations in the NASCAR industry, Chapman most recently worked at Richard Childress Racing (RCR). In 2010, Chapman worked primarily with the No. 29 team and driver, Kevin Harvick, as they won three races and nearly captured the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Prior to his employment at RCR, Chapman ran his own company and represented several NASCAR drivers, including Jason Keller, J.J. Yeley and Jeremy Clements.
Brandon Spurlock joined the HAF staff in August, 2010 and assists in coordinating HAF annual fund operations to recruit new members, renew current members, and ensure donor benefits are fulfilled. In addition to assisting in the day-to-day management of priority seating and parking for football and men's and women's basketball, Brandon also coordinates the Power of One Membership Drive and the Big Red Corvette Raffle.
Originally from Nashville, TN, Spurlock is a 2007 WKU graduate and former HAF student assistant and WKU Football equipment manager. Following graduation from WKU, he received his Master's in Sport Management from the University of Tennessee while serving as Development Assistant with the Tennessee Fund in 2009-10.
Member Services Coordinator
Elizabeth Leftwich is in her 5th year as a member of the HAF staff and oversees all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation. Elizabeth is responsible for donor stewardship and active cultivation of current members through priority season ticket sales and donor benefit fulfillment. In addition, Leftwich serves as the liaison for annual HAF events and coordinates the game day management of the E.A. Diddle luxury suites and Houchens-Smith Stadium Topper Club.
Before joining the Hilltopper athletic family, Elizabeth worked four years in the banking industry. A native of Russellville, KY, Leftwich is a 2005 WKU graduate and is currently pursuing her Master's in Sports Administration at WKU.
2011 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Andrew Burt
Dr. Wayne Bush
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Hilltopper Athletic Foudation Western Kentucky University
1605 Avenue of Champions
Bowling Green, KY 42101-6412