Mike Sanford will not return to lead the WKU football program in 2019, WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced on Sunday.

A search for his replacement is already underway.

“I would like to thank Mike for his dedication and passion leading our football program over the last two years,” Stewart said.  “His commitment to bettering the lives of our student-athletes is unquestioned.  However, based on a complete review of the total body of work of our program over the last two years and assessing the likelihood of meeting our future expectations, I felt it was time that we make a change in leadership. This was not an easy decision and was not made lightly.”

Sanford, who just completed his second season as WKU’s head coach, came to WKU following a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame. He had previously served as an assistant coach on The Hill in 2010.

“As we continue to elevate WKU’s instructional and inquiry missions, the same expectation for excellence extends to our athletics programs as well,” University President Dr. Tim Caboni said. “In consulting with Director of Athletics Stewart, I agree that for us to achieve the success we expect in WKU football, it is time to make a leadership change. Mike Sanford is a man of character, and we appreciate his service to our community.”

During his two years leading the program, the Hilltoppers were 9-16 overall and 6-10 in conference play, highlighted by a berth in the 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl in his first season. A pair of players were drafted from that squad as linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe went in the fourth round to the Chicago Bears and quarterback Mike White was taken in the fifth round by the Dallas Cowboys. A third player, tight end Deon Yelder, received immediate interest as a free agent and is currently with the Kansas City Chiefs.

– WKUSports.com –


Kyle Neaves

Associate Athletic Director, Athletic Communications/Media Relations

WKU Athletics


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here