Jimmy Feix, the winningest football coach in the history of Western Kentucky University football, died Sunday. He was 83.
Mr. Feix was an All-American quarterback at WKU. He coached at the school for 27 years, 16 as head coach with a record of 106-56-6. After he stepped down as coach in 1983, he held several administrative posts at the school before retiring 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," Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. "His 106 wins are the most in our football program's history, but no number can accurately measure the tremendous impact he had on everyone he touched. It is not often that one individual can have such a positive effect on so many, but Coach Feix certainly did, and the Hilltopper Nation is forever grateful."
Mr. Feix's teams won six Ohio Valley Conference championships, and in 1973 his Hilltoppers were undefeated during the regular season. That team and the 1975 squad both came in second in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
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Mr. Feix was named Kodak College Coach-of-the-Year for Division II in 1973 and '75. And, he was named OVC Coach-of-the-Year three times — 1973, '78 and '80. In his 16 seasons, he coached 16 All-Americans.
As a senior quarterback for the Toppers in 1952, Mr. Feix led his team to a 9-1-0 mark, the OVC title and a win in the school's first bowl appearance, 34-19 over Arkansas State in the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind. He was the first WKU football player to earn All-America, completing 61 percent of his passes for 1,925 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Mr. Feix signed with the New York Giants of the NFL in 1953, but a preseason injury quickly ended his professional career. He then entered the Air Force. Mr. Feix returned to Bowling Green and began coaching in 1957.
The playing field at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium was named Jimmy Feix Field in 1991. His jersey was retired in ceremonies on Feix Field in 1999, and he was a member of the first class of the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
A native of Henderson, Mr. Feix is survived by his wife, the former Frankie Biggers; and two sons, Dr. Jimmy B. Feix of Milwaukee and Dr. Jeff Feix of Nashville; and multiple grandchildren.
Arrangements are expected to be finalized Monday.