BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Former WKU Football head coach Jack Harbaugh and the Harbaugh Family will be honored this weekend by the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame as the recipients of the 2013 Blanton Collier Award. The family will be honored on Saturday, July 28, 2013 as part of the induction ceremony of the 2013 class of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in Louisville.
The Blanton Collier Award was established by the Kentucky Chapter of the NFL alumni in 2007 to honor individuals who not only excelled on the football field, but utilized the platform given them through their athletic careers to give back off the field. The annual winner is chosen by the Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group. The award is named for Blanton Collier who was head football coach at the University of Kentucky and went on to be head coach of the Cleveland Browns where he led them to the World Championship in 1964. Past recipients include Rich Brooks, Tony Dungy, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers and the Archie Manning family.
In 14 years at WKU, Harbaugh recorded a 91-68 mark while posting a 116-95-3 career record in 19 seasons as a head coach. In 2002, Harbaugh led the Hilltoppers to a 12-3 record and a 34-14 victory over McNeese State in the National Championship game of the NCAA I-AA Playoffs. WKU won their final six regular-season games of the season to reach the playoffs. For his efforts, Harbaugh was selected the American Coaches Association 2002 National Coach of the Year.
Under his guidance, WKU was the only I-AA school in the nation to rank in the top 10 in rushing offense every year since 1991, a run that stood at 12 straight through the 2002 campaign.
In 14 years at the helm of the WKU program, 33 student-athletes earned All-America recognition, including three who were named first- or second-team Academic All-America — Brian Bixler, Patrick Goodman and Brian Lowder.
In addition to the Collier Award, four current or past Hilltoppers are being recognized as part of the event as members of the All-Commonwealth Team as part of the top players in the state at the collegiate level for the past season. Quanterus Smith and Andrew Jackson were named to the First Team Defense while Jack Doyle and Adam Smith were named to the First Team Offense of the All-Commonwealth Team.
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