The Jimmy Feix Ballroom
The WKU Alumni Association will name one of its two Ballrooms in honor of legendary Coach Jimmy Feix.
A Henderson native, Jimmy Feix first arrived on the Hill in 1949. He has been an athlete, administrator, Alumni Director and ambassador for the University. As a quarterback, he became the first Hilltopper ever honored as an All-American in football in 1952. He was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team in 1951 and 1952 and was named to the conference's all-time team in 1988.
He was drafted by the NFL’s New York Giants, but an injury in the 1953 preseason forced him to give up football and led to a four-year stint in the Air Force. Feix returned to the Hill as an Assistant Football Coach in 1957 and remained in that capacity until 1968 when he took over the head coaching duties from the retiring Nick Denes. In 16 years as Head Coach, his teams went 106-56-6, won or shared six OVC championships and were national runners-up in NCAA Division II in 1973 and 1975. Feix, who was named OVC coach of the year in 1973, 1978 and 1980, remains the winningest football coach in WKU history.
Feix retired from coaching after the 1983 season and spent two years in Alumni Affairs before taking over as University's Director of Athletics from 1986 to 1991. Feix is a charter member of the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame and the field at L.T. Smith Stadium was named in his honor in 1991. Feix and his wife, Frankie, live in Bowling Green and have two children, Jimmy and Jeff.
Norm Johnson (’76) has led the effort to name the Ballroom in honor of Feix. “Naming the Alumni Center Ballroom for Coach Feix is an appropriate means to honor a WKU Alum who is respected as a great man. He has dedicated over 60 years of his life serving WKU, and is a great ambassador, exemplifying the WKU Spirit.
“Even in light of Coach Feix’s many achievements and honors, perhaps his greatest accomplishment is making a difference in the lives of others as an inspirational mentor and father figure,” Johnson said. “Jimmy Feix, the humble, first-class man of character, is greatly admired as a role model, as a leader, parent, husband and loyal friend. Many individuals, both in and outside of athletics, have benefited from a personal relationship with Jimmy and Frankie Feix. Just as Coach and Mrs. Feix have left an enduring and meaningful legacy in touching the lives of many individuals, the Jimmy Feix Ballroom will be an enduring tribute to a great human being.”
Feix said he was pleased and humbled by the honor given to him by the WKU Alumni Association. I was truly overwhelmed and most appreciative of their thoughtfulness,” he said.
“I have had so many wonderful memories at Western, from a football player in the University’s first Bowl game, to being named a Football All-American, to coaching 11 years as an Assistant Coach and 16 years as a Head Coach, to my years in administration,” he said. “We had some great games and made some wonderful memories—it would be impossible to choose just one as the best one.”