WKU AD Todd Stewart on Lady Tops’ NCAA bid: ‘It’s a major step forward’

Going to try to continue to slowly roll out some content for you all this week as the WKU women prepare to play Baylor.

Here are some comments from athletic director Todd Stewart after Monday’s selection show. Stewart was introduced as the school’s interim AD at the same news conference to introduce Michelle Clark-Heard as the Lady Tops’ coach March 22, 2012.

Two years to the day later, Heard will lead WKU onto the court to play second-seeded Baylor.

TODD STEWART

Thoughts on their draw: “Just thrilled for the program, thrilled for Michelle, our coaching staff, our players. I know how hard they’ve worked and how passionate and dedicated they are. To see our name up there – you’re known by the company you keep – and to see our name up there on that line and be apart of this NCAA tournament for the first time in six years is a huge, huge step forward for this program.”

Some national exposure: “I think it’s awesome. Saturday night, nationally televised game – I know our girls are ready for that, and they’re excited for it. They played so well in New Orleans with everything on the line. I’m just happy they have this kind of week to kind of bask in the glory of this.”

Heard’s rapid success: “All the credit to Michelle and her staff. As you all know, she inherited a team that was 9-21 with no seniors, and two years later, we have 24 wins, a conference championship and we’re still playing.”

Was tourney berth needed to spark interest in the program? “It’s a major step forward. I think what it does is validate that we’ve made major steps forward. Throughout the summer and the fall, we will certainly use that to promote the program. The one thing that was a little disappointing this year was some of our crowds. The attendance was better this year than it had been, but I think this coaching staff and these players deserve better crowds than what we had last year. And if people didn’t check out a Lady Topper game this year, they really missed out. I hope that’s something we can improve next year, because I know if they come, they’ll love what they see.”

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