Rise, grow and win – magazine

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 the vast majority of its 20 NCAA Division I packages reaching 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 all the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Division I packages in profitable proportion, all whereas student-athletes had a GPA of three.27.

Extensive receiver Noah Frith catches the Jap Michigan group within the LendingTree Bowl on December 18, 2021. Liberty Beat Jap Michigan, 56-20.

“I’m grateful to our student-athletes, employees, coaches and senior administration for the super assist we have now 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 nice seasons of the soccer and hockey groups. After shifting as much as Divisional Soccer (FBS) degree in 2018, Flames Soccer grew to become 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 Cellular, Ala. In subject 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 closing at dwelling, 1-0. The eleventh-year program continued To grow to be the primary Liberty group in any sport to advance to an NCAA Division I Championship recreation.

Total, 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 companion stated: “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 de facto superb. “. Athletic Director Mike Hagen.

The Liberty subject hockey group grew to become the primary Liberty group to compete in an NCAA Division I championship recreation, dealing with Connecticut State final November.

The Flames Membership, the division’s principal supporting group, has been a driving drive behind the speedy 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 document $4.1 million through the 2021-22 faculty 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 laborious to seek out considered one of our exhibits that does not hit new heights, and we’re completely happy 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 development, 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 a brief time period.”

Placing glorious product on the sphere and creating an distinctive game-day environment 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 12 months, we set a document with round 5,200 tickets offered for the soccer season, and this 12 months we have now 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 are going to feed about 1,000 extra folks on the third ground 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 house from Macado’s (restaurant) to the Liberty Area 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 ground seating and 23 cabanas would make the Flims soccer fan expertise even higher this season.

“We’ve got excessive expectations to offer an unbelievable household environment for all of our followers,” stated Hagen. “Final 12 months we offered all the premium seats at Williams Stadium for the primary time ever. We’re on monitor 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 pink, white and blue Liberty uniform and boldly representing Christ.

The brand new south berm for Williams Stadium has seating and 23 cabanas.

“It actually speaks to Liberty’s funding and her recognition that athletics can showcase the league. And at Liberty, meaning exhibiting and appreciating Christ,” Hagen stated. “We really 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 popular seats for season tickets, out of doors 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 group behind the group. We want everybody to return collectively – to return off the bench and get into the sport.”

“To compete on the size that Dr. Falwell envisioned — and everyone knows it might 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 faculty 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 presents are one other glorious means for alumni, their households, school, employees, and dependable followers to assist strengthen the foundations of the Flames Nation.

“There are 19 arcs in entrance of Williams Stadium, and we have now native households of present college students who love Liberty and wish to go away a legacy after they graduate contribute $50,000 to carve their names into these arcs,” Hagen stated, 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 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’ needs, 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 want is to depart a legacy for his or her households or family members and put their identify on athletics (amenities) We will make it occur, too.”