The Western Michigan Broncos football program represents Western Michigan University in the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division I and the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Western Michigan has competed in football since 1906, when they played three games in their inaugural season. In 1927, WMU joined four other schools (Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, and Wayne State University) to form the Michigan Collegiate Conference. Western Michigan then moved to its present conference in 1946. Prior to 1939, Western Michigan's athletic teams were known as the Hilltoppers.
Western Michigan's football team has had 15 head coaches in its history, with current head coach, P. J. Fleck being named to the position December 17, 2012. Fleck replaces Bill Cubit, who held the job from 2005 to 2012. WMU had a huge turnaround in Cubit's first season, going from 1–10 in 2004 to 7–4 in 2005. The 54.5% increase marked the highest in Division I-A between the two seasons and garnered Cubit the 2005 MAC Coach of the Year Award. Cubit was also the only first-year Division I-A head coach to take his team from a negative point differential in 2004 to a positive one the following year (–188 to +12). WMU was also one of eight football teams that was bowl eligible but did not go to a bowl game.
WMU's main rival is the Central Michigan University Chippewas. As of 2011, the Broncos own a 44–36–2 advantage in the series. In 2002, Western Michigan won the rivalry game at Central Michigan for the first time since 1973, snapping a 12 game winless streak (0–11–1).
Western Michigan University played in the inaugural International Bowl in 2007 in Toronto, Canada.
Famous quotes containing the words western and/or football:
“It appeared that he had once represented his tribe at Augusta, and also once at Washington, where he had met some Western chiefs. He had been consulted at Augusta, and gave advice, which he said was followed, respecting the eastern boundary of Maine, as determined by highlands and streams, at the time of the difficulties on that side. He was employed with the surveyors on the line. Also he called on Daniel Webster in Boston, at the time of his Bunker Hill oration.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“...Im not money hungry.... People who are rich want to be richer, but whats the difference? You cant take it with you. The toys get different, thats all. The rich guys buy a football team, the poor guys buy a football. Its all relative.”
—Martina Navratilova (b. 1956)