Former Western Kentucky coach, athletic director Jimmy Feix dies at 83

 

Jimmy Feix, Western Kentucky’s winningest football coach and its former athletic director, has died. He was 83.

The school said Feix died Sunday.

A former Hilltoppers player, Feix coached Western Kentucky to a 106-56-6 record as head coach from 1968-83. He was then the school’s director of alumni affairs and athletic until he retired in 1990.

"Coach Feix was a legendary figure in so many ways, and his influence transcended far beyond his role as WKU’s head football coach and athletics director," athletic director Todd Stewart said in a statement. "His thoughtful guidance and input were so meaningful, and it was an honor to have known him."

After arriving at Western Kentucky in 1949, the Henderson native became the first Hilltoppers player to earn All-America honors as a senior quarterback in 1952. Feix led them to their first bowl berth and victory.

Feix signed with the NFL’s New York Giants in 1953 with plans for him to back up quarterback Charlie Conerly, but a preseason injury ended his professional career. He entered the U.S. Air Force.

A three-time Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Feix guided Western Kentucky to six shared or outright OVC titles from 1970-80.

WHO WE LOST IN 2014

His 1973 team went unbeaten during the regular season and reached the Division II championship game. The Hilltoppers reached the final again in 1975.

The field at Western Kentucky’s stadium was named in Feix’s honor in 1991. The coach was part of the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame’s 10-member inaugural class that year.

Feix is survived by his wife, two sons and multiple grandchildren.