Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Steve Lutz

Team Mascot: Big Red

Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 7326

City / State: Bowling Green / Kentucky

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Western Kentucky vs Middle Tennessee State

Rival Team: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

The Hilltoppers have a longstanding rivalry with Middle Tennessee State that dates back to both programs’ time in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers and Blue Raiders have been battling it out on the court for years, so don’t miss it when Middle Tennessee State comes to town.

Western Kentucky vs Eastern Kentucky

Rival Team: Eastern Kentucky Colonels

The rivalry Western Kentucky-Eastern Kentucky spans a variety of sports, and the two teams have been matching up regularly for years. There are lots of bragging rights on the line when the Colonels come to town, so make sure to get your tickets to the Western Kentucky-Eastern Kentucky game.

Western Kentucky vs Marshall

Rival Team: Marshall Thundering Herd

The budding rivalry between the Hilltoppers and Thundering Herd could become a great one if things continue to heat up between these two Conference USA teams. The matchups between the two have been quite competitive between the two since the Hilltoppers joined Conference USA in 2013, so be in attendance when Western Kentucky takes on Marshall.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Stadium Guide

In Game

When it comes to basketball and the state of Kentucky, everyone thinks of the Wildcats and Cardinals, but Western Kentucky is home to an incredible game day experience as well. Western Kentucky students and alumni bleed red and white, and you’ll find lots of history and passion on display at a Hilltoppers basketball game.

E.A. Diddle Arena is a great place to take in some college hoops thanks in large part to the atmosphere created by the fans. No matter where the Hilltoppers are in the standings, you’ll find a near capacity crowd making them arguably the best fan base in Conference USA.

Another thing that makes a Western Kentucky basketball game stand out is the sheer amount of history on display. Before even stepping foot in the arena, you’ll be greeted by a statue of the arena’s namesake, E.A. Diddle. Once inside the walls of the concourse are lined with memorabilia from the team’s past, and there is a mural dedicated to WKU Athletics that is worth checking out as well.

Finally, whether you’re looking to grab something to eat there are plenty of options inside and outside of the arena. E.A. Diddle Arena has a wide variety of concessions options ranging from seafood to Mexican to your standard stadium fare. However, if that’s not enough for you, there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby to try as well including 440 Main.


Western Kentucky is home to one of the most underrated experiences in college basketball and is one of the best places to take in some college hoops in Conference USA, so plan your trip to Bowling Green today.

Things to check out

E.A. Diddle Statue

Before entering E.A. Diddle Arena, make sure to stop by the E.A. Diddle statue and get a picture with the arena’s namesake. The legendary coach compiled a .715 winning percentage with the Hilltoppers and won over 700 games, so stop by and pay tribute to the incredible coach during your trip to Bowling Green.

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Concourse Displays

Take some time before the game to stroll the concourse and see all of the Hilltoppers basketball memorabilia covering the walls. There is a lot to see here, so arrive early and take it all in.


While walking the concourse make sure to check out the Western Kentucky Athletics mural. The mural shows off all of WKU’s varsity sports and is a must-see for college sports fans.


Hanging from the rafters of E.A. Diddle Arena are banners celebrating the best players in Hilltoppers history. The banners honor legends ranging from Clem Haskins to Courtney Lee, so take them all in during your visit.

Big Red

WKU has one of the most unique mascots in all of sports, the big man on campus, Big Red. Big Red has a unique look and has been featured in numerous national mascot based commercials and competitions. This exposure has gone a long way in making Big Red one of the most recognizable in all of college sports. While he may not be the most intimidating mascot you’ll ever lay eyes upon; he is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most entertaining.

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Red Towel

The red towel has been synonymous with Western Kentucky since it was introduced by E.A. Dibble. At any Western Kentucky game you attend you’ll see fans all around stadium swinging red towels in support of the Hilltoppers, so next time you attend a Western Kentucky game make sure to bring your red towel to cheer on the team.

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Western Kentucky Pep Band

The WKU pep band livens up the atmosphere with their tunes and are a great part of any Hilltoppers basketball game. The band will keep everyone’s spirits high throughout the game, so enjoy the ambiance provided by the pep band.

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Fight Songs

  1. Stand Up and Cheer

    WKU Fight Song

    Stand Up And Cheer,
    Stand Up And Cheer For Dear Old Western
    For Today We Raise
    The Red And White Above The Rest
    Rah! Rah! Rah!

    Our Boys Are Fighting,
    And We Are Bound To Win This Fray
    We’ve Got The Team
    We’ve got the Steam
    For This Is Dear Old Western’s Day!

  2. College Heights

    WKU Alma Mater

    College Heights, on hilltop fair,
    With beauty all thine own,
    Lovely jewel far more rare
    Than graces any throne!
    College Heights, we hail thee;
    We shall never fail thee
    Falter never, live forever,
    Hail! Hail! Hail!

    College Heights with living soul
    And purpose strong and true,
    Service ever is thy goal
    Thy spirit ever new.
    College Heights, we hail thee;
    We shall never fail thee
    Falter never, live forever,
    Hail! Hail! Hail!

    College Heights thy noble life,
    Shall e’er our pattern be,
    Teaching us through joy and strife
    To love humanity.

    College Heights we hail thee,
    We shall never fail thee,
    Falter never, live forever,
    Hail! Hail! Hail!

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Bars & Restaurants

  1. Dublin’s Irish Pub

    Dubins Irish Pub

    An Irish pub is a warm, welcoming place where people socialize, relax, tell stories, and exchange gossip and rumors over a pint.

    2070 W 9th Ave, Oshkosh, WI 54904, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  2. 643 Sports Bar & Grill

    Sports Bar and Grill

    Redefining the sports bar with distinctively great food, a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, live music and more.

    360 E 8th Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - pizza - sportsbar - $$

  3. 440 Main


    440 provides the perfect setting for special occasions and corporate events. In additional to a diverse menu that features Steak, Seafood and New Orleans Cuisine, our Chef takes great pride in creating Nightly Specials using fresh ingredients grown in Kentucky.

    440 E Main Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. Micki’s on Main

    Mickis on Main

    Established in 1994, our restaurant is one in the same, offering a casual Bar & Grill, as well as an upscale Dining Room. Both menus are offered on either side, and there is no dress code.

    440 E Main Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  5. Gerard’s 1907 Tavern

    Gerards Tavern beer

    Set in a turn-of-the-century building adjacent to Fountain Square park, it's the perfect place to spend the evening with good friends and neighbors.

    935 College St, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. Tidball’s


    Tidball's is Bowling Green's premiere venue for live music.

    522 Morris Alley, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  7. Spencer’s Coffee

    Spencers Coffee

    Spencer's has been southcentral Kentucky's destination for world-class coffee and espresso drinks. But coffee is only the beginning.

    915 College St, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $

  8. Hilligans Bar & Grill

    Hilligans Bar and Grill

    We are the ultimate sports bar where you can enjoy great food, watch football, and play your favorite games.

    1265 College St, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  9. Mellow Mushroom

    Mellow Mushroom

    Serving Stone Baked Pizza, Calzones, Hoagies, Salads, Vegan & Gluten-Free options with a wide selection of beer since 1974.

    1035 Chestnut St, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - pizza - $$

  10. The Bistro

    The Bistro

    The two-story restored 1893 Fletcher House plays host to both first-rate meals and service whether you are enjoying dinner for two in the restaurant, drinks with friends in the bar or a private function in the upstairs meeting space.

    1129 College St, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$