The Nation of Flame is stronger than ever as athletics applications attain new heights
Athletics at Liberty College is ranked among the many quickest rising athletics divisions within the nation with nearly all of its 20 NCAA Division I applications attaining unprecedented success nationally over the previous few years.
Final 12 months, Liberty celebrated its Golden Day in model on the fields and courts. The college’s NCAA groups have captured eight convention championships, Flames Soccer took their third straight bowl win, and Liberty led the entire Commonwealth of Virginia’s Division I applications in profitable share, all whereas student-athletes had a GPA of three.27.
“I’m grateful to our student-athletes, workers, coaches and senior administration for the great assist now we have obtained,” stated athletics director Ian McCaw. “Thanks
Flames Nation for his or her fantastic assist and generosity which has been demonstrated in document numbers of donors and donations.”
Final fall was highlighted by the good seasons of the soccer and hockey groups. After shifting as much as Divisional Soccer (FBS) degree in 2018, Flames Soccer turned solely the second program in NCAA historical past to win ball video games within the first three seasons of eligibility after they beat Jap Michigan, 56-20, within the LendingTree Bowl. In Cell, Ala. In discipline hockey, Woman Flames gained her first 20 nation-wide video games in 2021, together with her first BIG EAST Championship, defeating the nine-time Connecticut champion within the last at house, 1-0. The eleventh-year program continued To grow to be the primary Liberty crew in any sport to advance to an NCAA Division I Championship recreation.
General, Liberty Athletics ranked 74th within the Learfield Cup Rating, an annual rating of all NCAA Division I applications based mostly on their groups’ post-season efficiency.
Flames Membership CEO and associate stated: “We had been thirteenth out of the highest 5 non-power applications out of over 60 faculties, so the truth that after three years at FBS we had been within the high 15 on this class is de facto superb. “. Athletic Director Mike Hagen.
The Flames Membership, the division’s primary supporting group, has been a driving drive behind the fast rise of athletics at Liberty. Membership has grown greater than sevenfold over the previous decade – from lower than 600 members in 2012 to greater than 4,350 immediately. Liberty Athletics raised a document $4.1 million through the 2021-22 college 12 months, together with $526,450 on Giving Day in November. That whole is up from simply over $1 million in 2015-16 and greater than double the earlier excessive of $1.85 million in 2020-2021.
“It is arduous to search out one in all our exhibits that does not hit new heights, and we’re glad our followers are responding accordingly with their assist with donations, Flames Membership membership, and season ticket purchases,” stated Hagen. “Becoming a member of Ian McCaw (in 2016) has actually helped craft the imaginative and prescient for this progress, and now to be on the trail as we elevate extra money to assist our student-athletes than different well-established applications actually present how profitable Flames Nation has are available a brief time period.”
Placing wonderful product on the sphere and creating an distinctive game-day environment at state-of-the-art services, such because the Williams Soccer Discipline and the basketball crew’s Liberty Enviornment, have elevated season ticket gross sales.
“Final 12 months, we set a document with round 5,200 tickets bought for the soccer season, and this 12 months now we have surpassed 8,200,” Hagen stated on the finish of August. “We may have 700 folks on the backdoor fan pageant earlier than the sport on the indoor coaching facility, and we’ll feed about 1,000 extra folks on the third flooring of the Carter Tower (Membership Pavilion) and suites, which they’ve continued to promote for the reason that Carter Tower was constructed. This 12 months, as the bottom grows Our followers, we added 5 extra parking tons. Each parking area from Macado’s (restaurant) to the Liberty Enviornment on recreation day is taken over by a donor, which is a good image of what it takes to assist this program.”
He stated the renovation and beautification of the south berm for Williams Stadium with redundant flooring seating and 23 cabanas would make the Flims soccer fan expertise even higher this season.
“We have now excessive expectations to supply an unimaginable household environment for all of our followers,” stated Hagen. “Final 12 months we bought the entire premium seats at Williams Stadium for the primary time ever. We’re on observe to do it once more this 12 months, and we’re very near doing it for males’s basketball as nicely.”
He stated Liberty’s mission and authentic imaginative and prescient of founder Dr. Jerry Falwell has paid off and is mirrored by way of each sports activities facility and sporting occasion on campus, in addition to each participant dressed within the crimson, white and blue Liberty uniform and boldly representing Christ.
“It actually speaks to Liberty’s funding and her recognition that athletics can showcase the league. And at Liberty, which means exhibiting and appreciating Christ,” Hagen stated. “We actually see ourselves as a approach to honor and glorify God by way of athletics, and lots of of our donors acknowledge that this is a chance to unfold (God’s) phrase and obtain nationwide recognition for Liberty by serving to our groups succeed on the sphere.”
Serving to the greater than 550 Liberty Athletics student-athletes thrive spiritually, academically, and athletically, Flames Membership members obtain most well-liked seats for season tickets, outside video games, and post-season tickets in addition to precedence parking and entry to unique Flames Membership occasions all year long.
“The extra they contribute, the extra they earn in curiosity,” Hagen stated. “Our inner objective is to extend (Flames Membership) to 10,000 members within the subsequent few years. They’re actually the crew behind the crew. We want everybody to come back collectively – to come back off the bench and get into the sport.”
“To compete on the size that Dr. Falwell envisioned — and everyone knows it could be Notre Dame and BYU for Protestant evangelicals — we nonetheless have a protracted approach to go, and that requires everybody to play their half,” Hagan added.
Already for the 2022-23 college 12 months, 2,644 members of the annual Flames Membership Fund have donated and pledged $1,825,813, a rise of 31 p.c over the beginning of final 12 months’s annual fund marketing campaign.
Hagen stated classic items are one other wonderful manner for alumni, their households, school, workers, and constant followers to assist strengthen the foundations of the Flames Nation.
“There are 19 arcs in entrance of Williams Stadium, and now we have native households of present college students who love Liberty and need to depart a legacy after they graduate contribute $50,000 to carve their names into these arcs,” Hagen stated, noting that the entire arcs now comprise the names of the sponsors.
Different naming rights vary from $1,000 for particular person lockers and $5,000 for sports activities places of work to $2 million for an indoor soccer follow facility.
“There are all the time so some ways and alternatives for folks to supply,” Hagen stated. “Our position with the Flames Membership is to reconcile donors’ wishes, passions and expectations with the giving they provide. If their ardour is soccer, we are able to get nice seats at Williams Stadium, and if their need is to go away a legacy for his or her households or family members and put their title on athletics (services) We are able to make it occur, too.”