WKentucky removes interim tag from Ray Harper

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- Western Kentucky is keeping Ray Harper as head coach.

Athletic director Ross Bjork announced the move Sunday after Harper was named interim coach following the firing of Ken McDonald on Jan. 5. A news conference is scheduled Monday to discuss the decision.

Harper has a 4-7 record since taking over for McDonald and the Hilltoppers (9-18, 5-9 Sun Belt Conference) are on their way to their first losing season in 12 years. But attendance numbers have risen each of the last four home games, a key benchmark Bjork looked at when he decided to let McDonald go.

Harper led Division II Kentucky Wesleyan to two national titles and four runner-up finishes in a six-year span from 1998-2003. The NCAA later vacated the school's 2003 runner-up finish due to rules violations.