The Liberty Flames are headed to Conference USA where the Flames will compete as all-sports members beginning with the 2023-24 athletic season. Over the next several days, we will be profiling each member of C-USA as we all get to know Liberty’s new home a little better.

Louisiana Tech
Florida International
New Mexico State

Western Kentucky University

Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Mascot: Hilltoppers
Distance to Lynchburg: 500 miles
Enrollment: 13,959
TV market: No. 177 in US
Joined CUSA: 2014
CUSA football championships: 2015, 2016
Coach: Tyson Helton
Stadium: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium
Capacity: 22,000


Western Kentucky moved to the FBS in 2006, originally joining as an Independent before joining the Sun Belt in 2009 where they remained until joining Conference USA. In 2015, the Hilltoppers won the C-USA championship and won the Miami Beach Bowl to finish ranked No. 24 in the final Associated Press top 25 poll. Former head coach Jeff Brohm left for Purdue after back to back C-USA titles in 2015 and 2016. Mike Sanford, Jr. was his replacement but he was fired after the 2018 season. Tyson Helton is in his third season as head coach at WKU, finishing 9-4 in 2019 and making a bowl game in each of the past two seasons.


Western Kentucky is one of the more storied men’s basketball programs at this level. They’ve advanced to one Final Four (1971), two Elite Eights, eight Sweet Sixteens (2008 most recent), and have made 23 NCAA Tournaments all-time with the most recent appearance coming in 2013. Former Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury is in his 5th season as head coach of the Hilltoppers who have won 20 or more games in four straight seasons including 27 wins in 2017-18 when WKU finished in the NIT semifinals.


The WKU baseball team won the Sun Belt Conference championship in 2009 and have made four NCAA Tournament appearances, coming in 1980, 2004, 2008, and 2009. Last season, the Hilltoppers had a 27-29 overall record and finished 15-17 in Conference USA play.