The Nation of Flame is stronger than ever as athletics packages 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 packages reaching unprecedented success nationally over the previous few years.
Final yr, 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 all the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Division I packages in successful share, all whereas student-athletes had a GPA of three.27.
“I’m grateful to our student-athletes, employees, coaches and senior administration for the great assist we’ve obtained,” mentioned athletics director Ian McCaw. “Thanks
Flames Nation for his or her fantastic assist and generosity which has been demonstrated in file 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 once they beat Jap Michigan, 56-20, within the LendingTree Bowl. In Cell, Ala. In area hockey, Girl 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 remaining at house, 1-0. The eleventh-year program continued To turn out to be the primary Liberty group in any sport to advance to an NCAA Division I Championship sport.
General, Liberty Athletics ranked 74th within the Learfield Cup Rating, an annual rating of all NCAA Division I packages based mostly on their groups’ post-season efficiency.
Flames Membership CEO and associate mentioned: “We have been thirteenth out of the highest 5 non-power packages out of over 60 colleges, so the truth that after three years at FBS we have been within the prime 15 on this class is basically wonderful. “. Athletic Director Mike Hagen.
The Flames Membership, the division’s most important supporting group, has been a driving pressure 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 at this time. Liberty Athletics raised a file $4.1 million in the course of the 2021-22 college yr, 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 onerous to seek out one in all our reveals that does not hit new heights, and we’re joyful our followers are responding accordingly with their assist with donations, Flames Membership membership, and season ticket purchases,” mentioned 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 increase more cash to assist our student-athletes than different well-established packages actually present how profitable Flames Nation has are available in a brief time period.”
Placing glorious product on the sphere and creating an distinctive game-day ambiance at state-of-the-art amenities, such because the Williams Soccer Subject and the basketball group’s Liberty Area, have elevated season ticket gross sales.
“Final yr, we set a file with round 5,200 tickets bought for the soccer season, and this yr we’ve surpassed 8,200,” Hagen mentioned on the finish of August. “We can have 700 folks on the backdoor fan pageant earlier than the sport on the indoor coaching facility, and we are going to 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 yr, as the bottom grows Our followers, we added 5 extra parking tons. Each parking area from Macado’s (restaurant) to the Liberty Area on sport day is taken over by a donor, which is a superb image of what it takes to assist this program.”
He mentioned 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.
“Now we have excessive expectations to supply an unbelievable household ambiance for all of our followers,” mentioned Hagen. “Final yr we bought all the premium seats at Williams Stadium for the primary time ever. We’re on monitor to do it once more this yr, and we’re very near doing it for males’s basketball as nicely.”
He mentioned Liberty’s mission and authentic imaginative and prescient of founder Dr. Jerry Falwell has paid off and is mirrored by each sports activities facility and sporting occasion on campus, in addition to each participant dressed within the pink, 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 displaying and appreciating Christ,” Hagen mentioned. “We really see ourselves as a solution to honor and glorify God by athletics, and plenty 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 popular 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 mentioned. “Our inner objective is to extend (Flames Membership) to 10,000 members within the subsequent few years. They’re actually the group behind the group. We’d like everybody to come back collectively – to come back off the bench and get into the sport.”
“To compete on the dimensions that Dr. Falwell envisioned — and everyone knows it will be Notre Dame and BYU for Protestant evangelicals — we nonetheless have a protracted solution to go, and that requires everybody to play their half,” Hagan added.
Already for the 2022-23 college yr, 2,644 members of the annual Flames Membership Fund have donated and pledged $1,825,813, a rise of 31 % over the beginning of final yr’s annual fund marketing campaign.
Hagen mentioned classic items are one other glorious means for alumni, their households, college, employees, and dependable followers to assist strengthen the foundations of the Flames Nation.
“There are 19 arcs in entrance of Williams Stadium, and we’ve native households of present college students who love Liberty and need to go away a legacy once they graduate contribute $50,000 to carve their names into these arcs,” Hagen mentioned, noting that all the arcs now include the names of the sponsors.
Different naming rights vary from $1,000 for particular person lockers and $5,000 for sports activities workplaces to $2 million for an indoor soccer observe facility.
“There are at all times so some ways and alternatives for folks to supply,” Hagen mentioned. “Our function with the Flames Membership is to reconcile donors’ wishes, passions and expectations with the giving they offer. If their ardour is soccer, we will get nice seats at Williams Stadium, and if their want is to go away a legacy for his or her households or family members and put their title on athletics (amenities) We will make it occur, too.”