WKU legend Jimmy Feix passes away at age 83


Legendary Hilltopper football coach Jimmy Feix passed away Sunday at the age of 83.

Feix coached the WKU football team from 1968-1983, compiling a 106-56-6 record. He was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year three times, led the Hilltoppers to six conference championships and a trip to the Division II national championship game in 1973. In 1980, Feix was the first coach in WKU history to record 100 wins, and remains the winningest coach in school history.

Before coaching, Feix played quarterback for the Hilltoppers and was recognized as the school’s first All-American in football. His senior year, he led the Tops to its first conference championship and bowl appearance, defeating Arkansas State in the 1952 Refrigerator Bowl. The New York Giants drafted Feix the following year, but a preseason injury forced him to give up football. After a four-year stint in the Air Force, Feix returned to the Hill in 1957 as an assistant, before ultimately taking over as head coach 11 years later.

In 1991, Houchen-Smith Stadium’s field was named Feix Field after the legendary coach, the same year Feix was inducted into the inaugural class of the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame. He had his jersey retired in 1999.

The WKU Athletic Department broke the news on Twitter:

Shortly thereafter, WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart released the following statement:

"Coach Feix was a legendary figure in so many ways, and his influence transcended far beyond his role as WKU’s head football coach and athletics director. His 106 wins are the most in our football program’s history, but no number can accurately measure the tremendous impact he had on everyone he touched. It is not often that one individual can have such a positive effect on so many, but Coach Feix certainly did and the Hilltopper Nation is forever grateful. A hand written note from him that I received during my first year as athletics director is something I will always cherish. His thoughtful guidance and input were so meaningful, and it was an honor to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Frankie, sons Jimmy and Jeff, and the entire Feix family."

After the news broke, other tweets quickly began to emerge from prominent figures in the Hilltopper community:

Feix had pneumonia, and had family and friends come by to visit, including Hilltopper head coach Jeff Brohm.