88. Tony Kimbrough’s success in Kalamazoo

Players going the junior college route is a much more popular way of playing Division-I football than it has been in years past. One former player who did take the JUCO route to Kalamazoo led Western Michigan to a championship.

When Jack Harbaugh was booted from WMU, the head coaching position was dubbed “the worst job in America” by Bo Schembechler. (Hyperbole, probably). Al Molde came in to try and fix things for WMU and did so by getting a bowl game in his second year there — this is when the MAC would usually send only one representative to bowl games.

Tony Kimbrough was a big reason for that. The Detroit native started out his collegiate career at Grand Rapids Community College and transferred as a junior. Kimbrough didn’t play too much in 1987, but he blew the year after and was named the Mid-American Conference Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year as a senior.

In 1988, Kimbrough led the MAC in passing yards (2,831 — ninth in the nation), touchdowns (21), completions (210), attempts (381), adjusted yards per attempt (6.9), third in yards per attempt (7.4) and fourth in completion percentage (55.1 percent). The Broncos got up to a 9-3 record with a MAC title and a California Bowl loss to Fresno State (35-30).

One of the more noteworthy games of Kimbrough’s season was against Central Michigan where he scored six times to route the Chippewas 42-24. There have been 28 other games where MAC quarterbacks scored six times in a single game, not including the two times quarterbacks scored eight times and the five times they scored seven times.

Most TDs by a QB in a single game

  1. 8, Jose Davis (Kent State) vs. CMU, 1997
  2. 8, Drew Anderson (Buffalo) vs. WMU, 2017
  3. 7, Cooper Rush (CMU) vs. Western Kentucky, 2014
  4. 7, Alex Carder (WMU) at Toledo, 2011
  5. 7, Adam DiMichele (Toledo) vs. Eastern Michigan, 2008
  6. 7, Ryan Henry (Bowling Green) vs. Ball State, 1994
  7. 7, Andy Vetter (Ohio) vs. Northern Illinois, 1976
  8. 6, Tony Kimbrough (WMU) vs. CMU, 1988
  9. 6, Jose Davis (KSU) vs. UCF, 1997
  10. 6, Josh Harris (BGSU) vs. Northwestern, 2001
  11. 6, Byron Leftwich (Marshall) vs. Ohio, 2001
  12. 6, Kainoa Akina (EMU) vs. Akron, 2001
  13. 6, Josh Harris (BGSU) vs. Ohio, 2002
  14. 6, Chad Munson (WMU) vs. William & Mary, 2003
  15. 6, Bruce Gradkowski (Toledo) vs. Buffalo, 2003
  16. 6, Bruce Gradkowski (Toledo) vs. Ball State, 2004
  17. 6, Josh Haldi (NIU) vs. WMU, 2004
  18. 6, Phil Horvath (NIU) vs. Akron, 2005
  19. 6, Tim Hiller (WMU) vs. Ball State, 2005
  20. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. Ball State, 2007
  21. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. Army, 2007
  22. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. Purdue, 2007
  23. 6, Andy Schmitt (EMU) vs. CMU, 2008
  24. 6, Aaron Opelt (Toledo) vs. Colorado, 2009
  25. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. Akron, 2009
  26. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. EMU, 2009
  27. 6, Dan LeFevour (CMU) vs. UT, 2009
  28. 6, Chandler Harnish (NIU) at UT; at Army, 2011
  29. 6, Tyler Vantubbergen (WMU) vs. Akron, 2011
  30. 6, Zac Dysert (Miami-OH) at Akron, 2012
  31. 6, Keith Wenning (Ball State) vs. MIA, 2013
  32. 6, Matt Johnson (BGSU) at Maryland, 2015
  33. 6, Thomas Woodson (Akron) vs. VMI, 2016
  34. 6, Cooper Rush (CMU) vs. UNLV, 2016
  35. 6, Logan Woodside (Toledo) vs. Tulsa, 2017
  36. 6, Nathan Rourke (Ohio) vs. Miami-OH, 2017

After college, Kimbrough spent a decade playing in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, was an offensive coordinator for the Utah Blaze (AFL) and is currently the head coach for East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Mich.

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