The culture of the WMU football team will be the topic at the upcoming Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series hosted by the Haworth College of Business.
Tim Lester, WMU football head coach, will give a presentation titled “WMU Football: Culture Wins” at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in 2150 Schneider Hall.
The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made below or by calling (269) 387-6059. Free parking is available in Fetzer Center Lot 72F.
Lester was named the 16th head football coach in school history in January of 2017.
He has risen through the coaching ranks after completing a Hall of Fame playing career at Western Michigan University. Lester was a four-year starter at quarterback at WMU from 1996-99, leading the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference championship appearance his senior season. Lester also made a stop as an assistant coach at his alma mater during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
After college, Lester played with the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL in 2001, the Nashville Kats and Carolina Cobras of the Arena Football League in 2001, and the Memphis Xplorers of the Arena Football League 2 in 2002.
Lester earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Western Michigan University in 2000. He was inducted into the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
Western Michigan led the Mid-American Conference with 12 all-conference selections in 2017 and had 16 Academic All-MAC selections, five Distinguished Scholar-Athletes and a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
As a team, the Broncos posted a 3.08 GPA, the second highest in program history. Offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor collected six All-American honors and Wyatt Pfieffer was an All-American as a long snapper. Several school records were broken as running back Jarvion Franklin became WMU’s all-time leading rusher with 4,867 career yards, and also set a school record for most career touchdowns with 56. Darius Phillips became the FBS all-time leader for career runbacks with 12 and tied the FBS record with five career pick-sixes. Phillips was named MAC Special Teams Player of the Year for the second-straight season and had 100-yard kickoff returns in back-to-back weeks to open the season against #4 USC and Michigan State.
On the recruiting front, Western Michigan signed the highest rated recruiting class in MAC history this past December.