Kansas City, Mo. — Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper head football coach Jimmy Feix will be inducted later this month into the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions in recognition of his service to the organization. Feix joins former North Carolina athlete Albert Long, Jr. and former Kansas coach Dick Harp as part of the Class of 2007.
“During FCA’s 53-year history of ministering to athletes and coaches, a number of extraordinary individuals have been used mightily by God to influence others in their communities and the nation to have a personal belief in and commitment to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord," says FCA President Les Steckel. “With our three new well-deserving individuals soon to be enshrined, FCA’s Hall of Champions will have honored 58 servant-leaders from the world of sports, including such individuals as Tom Landry, Tony Dungy, Paul Anderson, Kay Yow, Roger Staubach and Bobby Bowden.”
Feix, an All-American quarterback for the Hilltoppers in 1952, is forever tied to WKU’s athletic success. Following a brief stint in the Air Force, Feix returned to the Hill in 1957 as a graduate assistant coach.
In the half century since then, he served his alma mater as assistant coach, head coach, director of alumni affairs, athletic director and, in his retirement, as ambassador-of-good-will for his beloved WKU.
His 16 seasons (1968-83) as head coach of the Hilltoppers produced a record 106 victories and six league championships, including his 1973 team that went undefeated in the regular season on its way to taking runner-up honors in the first-ever NCAA Division II national championship playoff. Three times Feix was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year and was honored as Kodak College Coach of the Year for Division IV in both 1973 and 1975.
Feix has always been known as a champion in every sense — as a person, coach, leader in the Bowling Green community, a representative of his beloved university and a major proponent and frequent speaker on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes “Hall of Champions” was established in 1991 as a way to recognize FCA servant-leaders who have faithfully served Christ through the vehicle of FCA. Each honoree, elected by a select committee composed of Board of Trustees, Home Office and Field staff, has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the support of FCA vision, mission and values.
Each “Champion” will receive a plaque bearing a sculpture of their likeness to be placed in the “Hall of Champions” in FCA’s Home Office in Kansas City, Mo.
Friends and former players have championed FCA’s selection of Feix for FCA’s Hall of Champions. Romeo Crennel, head coach of the Cleveland Browns and a former WKU football player and assistant coach, said of Feix, “Not only did I play for him, but was fortunate enough to coach with one of the finest and most successful leaders Western Kentucky University has ever known. He taught us the meaning of respect, faith, and character not only by his words, but also by his actions.”
Another former Hilltopper player and now an assistant coach on the staff of the Chicago Bears, Darryl Drake, spoke of his former coach, “Jimmy Feix has touched and had a positive impact on thousands of young men and women by his leadership, character and commitment to Jesus Christ. He taught all his players about trust. Trust in each other and trust in the Lord.”
WKU President Emeritus, Dr. Dero Downing, who has known Feix since he first enrolled as a freshman athlete in 1949, said of his friend, “Jimmy Feix is widely known, admired and highly regarded for the message he has consistently sent on how he works and lives in Christian service.”