BOWLING GREEN, Ky. --- (WBKO) On Wednesday, December 11th Conference USA named WKU's Tyson Helton the 2019 Coach of the Year. This awards comes in Tyson Helton's first year as a head coach. Helton took over a Hilltoppers team that only won three games in 2018. This season WKU is 8-4 on the year and has a chance to triple their win total with a bowl win against Western Michigan. WKU owns the third-best turnaround in the nation this year. The Hilltoppers were voted to finish fifth in the East in the preseason C-USA poll, but concluded the year tied for second with a 6-2 league record.
According to the league office, Tyson and his father, Kim Helton (Houston in 1996 – with Tyson on the team as a freshman), are the only father-son duo to each be named Coach of the Year in C-USA's 25-year history in any sport. The Heltons are the first father-son duo to each be named Coach of the Year in any FBS league since the Bowdens – Tommy (Clemson in 2003) and Bobby (Florida State in 1993 and 1997) – in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
According to WKU Athletics, this is only the sixth conference Coach of the Year honor in program history, with Jack Harbaugh, Jimmy Feix (1973, 1978 and 1980) and Nick Denes (1963) as the only other WKU head coaches to earn the recognition.