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New WMU football coach Tim Lester to headline Benefit Dinner

Purchase 40th Annual Benefit Dinner tickets online 

The 40th Annual Benefit Dinner is slated for June 19 featuring former Western Michigan University quarterback and new head football coach Tim Lester as Guest Speaker.

Tim Lester was named the 16th head football coach in Western Michigan University history on January 13. 

Lester has risen through the coaching ranks after completing a Hall of Fame playing career at WMU. Lester was a four-year starter at quarterback 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.

Lester began his coaching career in 2003 and most recently was the quarterbacks’ coach at Purdue in 2016. Lester came to Purdue from Syracuse, where he served as quarterbacks’ coach from 2013 to 2015 and doubled as offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015.

Prior to Syracuse, Lester was the head coach at Division III Elmhurst (Illinois) College from 2008 to 2012. He posted a 33-19 record for a .635 winning percentage. In 2012, he led the Blue Jays to a 10-2 record, a CCIW championship, and a first-ever NCAA playoff game. Lester was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wiscon
sin Coach of the Year that season.

Lester served as an assistant at North Central College (2007) and Elmhurst (2002-03). He was the head coach at Division II Saint Joseph’s College in 2004 where he received Independent Football Alliance Coach of the Year honors. 

Lester began his playing career at WMU earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 1996 and was named Second Team All-MAC his junior and senior seasons.

Lester finished his WMU career ranked fourth in FBS history in passing yards (11,299) and sixth in touchdown passes (89). Lester set 17 school passing records and eight MAC records. Following his senior season, in which he threw for 3,639 yards and 34 touchdowns, Lester participated in the 1999 Blue-Gray Classic.

As an assistant coach at WMU he coached quarterback Tim Hiller to MAC Freshman of the Year accolades in 2005. Lester was WMU’s first QB to throw for over 11,000 career yards and Hiller went on to become the second.

After college, Lester played with the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL, the Nashville Kats and Carolina Cobras of the Arena Football League, and the Memphis Xplorers of the AFL 2.

A native of Wheaton, Ill., Lester earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from WMU in 2000. He was inducted into the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Tim and his wife Dawn have four children.

Tickets are available online or by calling Sherry Butler at 269-382-6800 ext. 103. 


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