Liberty Defense Clamps Down in 2nd Half of 74-52 Win Over Tennessee State


      LYNCHBURG, Va.  The Liberty defense held Tennessee State to 17 second half points on 12.5 percent (4-of-32) shooting in a 74-52 win, Wednesday night at Liberty Arena.

      The Flames trailed by a point, 35-34, at the break before the defense held the Tigers to four total field goals over the final 20 minutes. The 17 points allowed in the second half are the fewest Liberty has given up in any half during the 2023-24 season.

      Liberty improves to 8-3, including a 4-1 home mark, following the non-conference victory. Tennessee State falls to 6-5 and has dropped two straight.

      Kyle Rode led the Flames in scoring with 18 points, 16 of those coming in the second half. Rode’s knocked down four threes on the night, with his first triple being the 200th of his career. Meanwhile Joseph Venzant (12 points, 11 rebounds) notched his second career double-double, and sophomore Zach Cleveland flirted with a triple-double, finishing with nine points, a career-high nine assists and eight rebounds.


Box Score Highlights

Liberty Individuals: Kyle Rode 18 points, 4-7 3FG, 3 rebounds; Joseph Venzant 12 points, 11 rebounds; Kaden Metheny 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4-4 FG; Zach Cleveland 9 points, 9 assists (career high), 8 rebounds


Tennessee State Individuals: Christian Brown 16 points, 5-7 FG; Jaylen Jones 11 points; EJ Bellinger 6 points, 11 rebounds


Key Team Stats: Liberty held TSU to 27.6 percent shooting (16-of-58) on the night, including 12.5 percent (4-of-32) in the second half. Meanwhile, the Flames shot 45 percent (27-of-60) on the night and 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from three-point territory. The Flames dished out 21 assists on 27 made baskets. Liberty outrebounded TSU 45-32, including a 29-15 edge on the glass in the second stanza. The Flames’ 45 rebounds are their second highest total of the season. The Flames held a decisive 34-16 edge in points in the paint.


Thoughts From Head Coach Ritchie McKay

“I’m proud of our effort. We knew Tennessee State was a dangerous team, and they really get out in transition at a breakneck pace. I felt like that was an important part of the game. I thought our response in the second half was really good. I think that could have been a detriment to our group’s confidence (the end of the first half). I thought we fought through the hard.”


Turning Point

Liberty distanced itself from TSU in the second half with a 15-2 run. The Flames led 52-45 before that spurt from the 10:11 to 4:34 mark opened up a 20-point advantage at 67-47.


Liberty’s defense keyed the run, holding the Tigers to 1-of-10 shooting (10 percent) in that stretch. The Flames’ Kyle Rode scored eight points in that time span.


Key Stats & Notes

·       All eight Liberty victories this season have been by double digits.

·       Joseph Venzant’s double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds matched his other double-double of the same stat line, which he recorded against Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 25. Venzant was 6-of-7 shooting and is shooting 63 percent from the field on the season. The junior guard has grabbed 11 boards in four of his last six games, averaging 9.5 rpg during that span.

·       Zach Cleveland notched a career-high nine assists tonight and came close to a triple-double with nine points and eight rebounds as well. There are six triple-doubles in program history, with Jesse Sanders recording the last one (14 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists) on Jan. 21, 2012 against High Point. Cleveland’s previous career high in assists was seven against Delaware State last season (Nov. 26, 2022).

·       Guard Kaden Metheny scored 10 points and added five rebounds. Metheny has now reached double figures in scoring in nine straight games.

·       Fifth-year senior Shiloh Robinson grabbed eight rebounds tonight, his second highest total of the season. The forward added six points on 4-of-5 shooting from the line and chipped in two blocks and two assists as well in 18:44 of action. 

·       Liberty improves to 2-0 all-time versus TSU. The only other prior meeting came over 14 years ago (Nov. 28, 2009), a 64-60 Flames triumph.

·       Tonight’s win was Liberty’s 49th all-time at Liberty Arena. The Flames are 49-5 all-time in four seasons at the facility.

·       Tennessee State closed the first half on an 11-2 run to take a 35-34 advantage into the locker room. This is the first game the Flames have won this season in which they trailed at the break.


liberty flames stay hot, win conference usa title over new mexico st, 49-35

The Liberty Flames had taken the long road to gain credibility in college football.


The school of a little more than 50 years in existence had worked their way through different levels and college football and even took the independent route prior to joining Conference USA, a group of five or G5, Division 1 major football conference.


However, this evangelical university in the heart of central Virginia was looking to make believers out of everyone.  They had already done something no other team in Virginia had done by going 12-0 in the regular season.  In their inaugural year as a member, the Flames played the host of the Conference USA Championship Game.


The opponent was a familiar foe in the New Mexico State Aggies. The Aggies were no pushover and they surely were capable of the upset having won at Liberty last year and winning at the likes of Auburn University of the mighty SEC.


The Flames beat the Aggies in week 2 earlier this year and were in a mission to get in position for a New Year’s Day Six Bowl Game and national attention they craved.

This game was exciting in many levels.  The Flames and Aggies were the top two teams in C-USA and a win would be great to claim the champions’ hardware and a profitable bowl appearance.


The Flames and Aggies were highly explosive offenses and the game did not disappoint.  The QBs were the catalysts and sparks for their respective teams.  Kaiden Salter led a LU group that was leading the country in rushing yards a game.  Diego Paavia was as good a passer as any in the conference and he could make plays with his feet as well.  The visitors jumped out early and to take a 14-7 lead.  The Flames were shook but not out and scored the next 14 points taking a 21-14 lead with just seconds left in the first half.  It looked like Liberty was going to take the halftime lead until the Aggies responded.  In less than 20 seconds, Paavia had led his team back into the endzone for a tying touchdown.


The teams were lighting up the scoreboard and the fans were treated to a back and forth battle that kept them in the edge of their cold and wet seats in Williams Stadium.  Neither team stepped off the gas in the third quarter as Liberty took a two touchdown lead at 35-21 only to see the Aggies matches the effort.  14 consecutive points from New Mexico State setup a fantastic fourth quarter with both teams even.


Liberty was able to take the lead at 42-35.  As the Aggies looked to tie the game again, a pivotal play led to a backbreaking turnover and changed the complexion of the game. As New Mexico State crept close into the redzone, backup QB Blaze Berlowitz made a throw he wished he didn’t. A pass into the endzone was intercepted and thwarted and possible scoring chance.


The interception dampened the Aggies’ energy and all but sealed their fate.  Liberty on the ensuing drive made sure to finish the game and the elusiveness of Salter was on full display.  On a pass play in the pocket, the Aggies create turbulence and looked to have Salter bottled up in sure trouble. Salter, zigged and zagged and slithered his way as if he were playing tag but no one touched him.  His ability to escape the pocket plus his vision, gave him a path to race into the endzone from 35 yards away.  The touchdown sent the home Liberty cried into a maddening frenzy.  The energy was too much to overcome and so was the score.  The Aggie attempted to score quickly but to no avail.


The final horn signalled the champions in Lynchburg and a culmination of a miracle season.  The offensive juggernaut was in full display for both teams.  A combined 1,211 yards provide nonstop action.  Liberty was responsible for 712 yards with a balance of 393 rushing and 319 in the air.  Salter did it all as he passed for all 393 while adding 165 rushing.  He was responsible for three touchdowns.  His counterparts, Paavia and Berlowitz were a powerful combo.  The duo produce five TDs but the costly interception stymied the comeback.


The next game for each will be a well-earned bowl game.  The combatants did not disappoint and the fans of Conference USA were the real winners in this exciting title tilt. 


EMSPORTS.org 12/01/2023


Congrats to the Liberty Flames ? 



Flames Run to CUSA Road Win at FIU


       MIAMI, Fla. – A stout defensive effort and a season-high rushing attack allowed Liberty to secure a 38-6 Conference USA road, Saturday night, at FIU Stadium.

       With the win, Liberty closes out the first set of Saturday games on its 2023 schedule undefeated at 4-0. The Flames remain atop the CUSA standings at 2-0 heading into four straight midweek contests during the month of October.

       Liberty is in its first season as a Conference USA member and is facing its first-ever conference slate at the FBS level.

       Liberty, who entered the night ranked No. 7 in the country in rushing offense (240.3 yards per game), ran for 364 yards on 44 carries, averaging 8.3 yards per rushing attempt.

       The Flames dominated nearly every part of the final stat sheet and more than doubled up the Panthers in total offensive yards (520 to 211).

       Reigning CUSA Offensive Player of the Week Kaidon Salter accounted for four of Liberty’s five touchdowns in the game.

       The quarterback completed 11-of-21 passing attempts for 156 yards with two touchdowns, while rushing nine times for 77 yards and two more scores. The sophomore came into the day ranked No. 4 in the country in total points responsible for.

       The Flames had a pair of running backs surpass the 100-yard mark in the game. Quinton Cooley carried the ball 12 times for 102 yards, while Billy Lucas rushed 11 times for the same 102 yards.

       The 100-yard game was the eighth of Lucas’ career, following seven 100-yard games at Duquesne. The day accounted for Cooley’s second 100-yard game as a Flames after he surpassed the mark in the Flames’ first-ever CUSA game against New Mexico State two weeks ago.

       Tight end Bentley Hanshaw had a career night with five receptions for 43 yards, while Treon Sibley had two receptions for 83 yards. Both players had a touchdown in the game.

       Linebacker Tyren Dupree continues to be Liberty’s tackles leader after finishing the game with nine stops, including eight solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.

       Defensive tackle Kendy Charles saw his first action of the season after missing the first three games of 2023 with a preseason injury. The senior showed no rust, tallying five tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a sack on a fourth-down play and a fumble recovery.


The Flames’ win today:

·       Enables the Flames to start out 4-0 for the first time since 2020, when they opened the year at 8-0.

·       Gives the Flames their first 2-0 start in conference play since opening the 2016 Big South slate at 4-0.

·       Helps the Flames remain as CUSA's only unbeaten team and make Liberty the first squad with two CUSA wins in 2023.

·       Keeps the Flames unbeaten all-time against FIU at 2-0.

·       Marks the Flames' 10th straight win over a CUSA opponent, improving their all-time record against CUSA foes to 11-1.

·       Boosts the Flames' record to 4-10 when playing in Florida and give them their first regular-season win in the Sunshine State since Oct. 14, 1995 (7-6 victory at UCF).

·       Makes Jamey Chadwell the second Liberty head coach ever to win his first four games with the Flames. Sam Rutigliano started 6-0 during the 1989 campaign, his first at Liberty.

·       Snaps FIU's three-game winning streak.



Chadwell Named Liberty’s New Head Football Coach


       LYNCHBURG, Va. – With the Flames on the verge of moving into their first-ever FBS conference and the program at its greatest heights, Liberty University has hired Jamey Chadwell as the 10th head coach in the program’s history.

       Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw will welcome Chadwell to Liberty Mountain during a press conference today at 3 p.m. The press conference will be held on the third floor of the Carter Tower at Williams Stadium.

       Unprecedented success has followed Chadwell at each of his stops during his 13-year career as a head coach at various levels of football.

       Overall, Chadwell brings a 99-57 head coaching record that spans stops at North Greenville (2009-2011), Delta State (2012), Charleston Southern (2013-16) and Coastal Carolina (2017 (intern); 2019-22).

       For five of the last six seasons, Chadwell has guided the rapid growth of the Coastal Carolina football program at the FBS level and in the Sun Belt Conference.

       Chadwell coached the Chanticleers to first-place finishes in the Sun Belt Conference in 2020 and 2022 (tied for first in East) and a 31-6 record over the last three seasons. He helped Coastal Carolina secure its first two FBS bowl game appearances at the 2020 and 2021 Cure Bowl, including a win over Northern Illinois, 47-41, in the 2021 Tailgreeter Cure Bowl.

       After guiding Coastal Carolina to an 11-0 regular season record in 2020, Chadwell was named the 2020 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, The Home Depot College Football Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, Sporting News Coach of the Year, CBS Sports/247Sports Coach of the Year, Paul "Bear" Bryant Group of 5 2020 Conference Coach of the Year and Grant Teaff Coach of the Year Award (FCA).

       Chadwell’s Chanticleers were ranked in the top 25 Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls for a total of 22 consecutive weeks from Oct. 18, 2020, through Nov. 7, 2021.

       The Chanticleers were also ranked as high as No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings in 2020, which set a Sun Belt record.

       With their back-to-back double-digit wins total in 2020 (11-1) and 2021 (11-2), Coastal Carolina was one of six teams at the FBS level to post back-to-back double-digit win seasons during the two-year span.

       The Chanticleers (22-3) were one of 10 teams to win 20-plus games over the same period: Alabama (26-2), Louisiana (23-2), Cincinnati (22-2), Coastal Carolina (22-3), Notre Dame (21-4), BYU (21-4), Georgia (22-3), Oklahoma (20-4), Oklahoma State (20-5), and Clemson (20-5).

       During the 2021 season, Coastal Carolina was one of four FBS teams to rank in the top 25 in both total offense (fifth) and total defense (25th) and one of eight teams to rank in the top 25 in both scoring offense (fifth) and scoring defense (25th).

       In 2020, Chadwell led the Chanticleers to the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference title, an 11-1 overall mark, including an 8-0 Sun Belt Conference record, and the program’s first-ever FBS postseason bowl game.

       The Chanticleers posted two wins over ranked FBS opponents, the first two such victories in program history, four wins over top 50 opponents. They were ranked as high as No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll, both Sun Belt Conference records.

       During the 2018 season, Chadwell served as the Chanticleers associate head coach under head coach Joe Moglia. He was  a Broyles Award nominee, an award given annually to college football’s top assistant coach, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

       The Chanticleers’ offense in 2018 led the Sun Belt and ranked in the top 25 nationally in rushing yards per game, red-zone offense, time of possession, first downs, and both third- and fourth-down conversion percentage for much of the season.

       Coastal Carolina finished the year ranked in the top 10 nationally in fourth-down conversion percentage (68.8), fewest penalties (52), fewest penalties per game (4.33), and fewest penalty yards (493).

       Chadwell served as interim head coach during the 2017 season due to Moglia taking a medical sabbatical.

       Before his days in Conway, S.C., Chadwell spent four seasons as the head coach at Charleston Southern, where he finished fourth in the FCS National Coach of the Year voting in 2015 and eighth in 2013.

       He was named Big South Coach of the Year three times (2013, 2015, and 2016), led CSU to conference titles in 2015 and 2016, and guided the Buccaneers to the NCAA Division I FCS Championship Playoffs in each of his last two years.

       In 2016, Chadwell earned Big South Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight year and the third time in four years, tying him for the most such accolades in conference history.

       Charleston Southern broke through on the national stage in a big way in 2015, compiling a 10-3 overall record and a 6-0 Big South mark en route to achieving a pair of firsts -- an outright conference championship and an automatic FCS Division I Championship bid.

       During the 2012 season, served as the head coach at Delta State, following three seasons as the head coach at North Greenville (2009-11).

       After posting a 2-8 record in his first season as a head coach at North Greenville in 2009, Chadwell turned the program around in year two, going 9-3. He then led North Greenville to the NCAA DII quarterfinals with an 11-3 record in year three and the program’s first-ever national ranking, finishing the 2011 season 12th in the American Football Coaches Association DII Poll.

       In 2011, North Greenville defeated every team in the South Atlantic Conference in the first year of the four-year scheduling alliance of which North Greenville is a part.

       Chadwell began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater East Tennessee State in 2000. From 2000-03, the former Anderson County (Tenn.) High School star worked with the quarterbacks, tight ends, and running backs while assisting with recruiting and offensive game planning.

       From 2004-08, Chadwell was on staff at Charleston Southern before he was named the head coach in 2009. He served as recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator, helping the Buccaneers with their first-ever Big South Conference title in 2005.

       Chadwell was a four-year letterman at ETSU (1996-99) and was a two-year team captain for the Buccaneers. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and business education in May 2000 from ETSU and completed his MBA from Charleston Southern in May 2006. 

       Chadwell is married to the former Solmaz Zarrineh and the couple has one son, Jameson, and two daughters, Avery and Soraya.



Berkman Scores Career-High 26 & Reaches 1,000, but Liberty Falls to Minnesota, 77-65



Liberty’s Mya Berkman tallied a career-high 26 points to become the 20th member of the Lady Flames’ 1,000-point club, Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena. However, Minnesota put a damper on her celebration with a 77-65 victory in the final game of the Cavalier Classic.

Liberty, which dropped both of its Cavalier Classic contests, falls to 2-4 with its third straight defeat. Berkman’s 1,000th point came on a layup with 7:18 to play in the contest, and the redshirt senior also grabbed 11 boards for her 10th career double-double. Kennedi Williams added a career-high 21 points of her own, but the Lady Flames shot just 38.7 percent (24-of-62) as a team.

Minnesota is now 4-2 this season and 2-0 all-time against the Lady Flames. Katie Borowicz scored a career-high 21 points and dished out five of her team’s 18 assists. The Golden Gophers made 46.9 percent (30-of-64) of their field goals, aided by 48 points in the paint.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty Individuals: Berkman – 26 points, 11 rebounds, 10-15 FG; Williams – 21 points, 3 assists, 7-9 FG, 7-7 FT; Bella Smuda – 8 points, 5 rebounds; Emma Hess – 5 points, 3 assists, 3 blocks.

Minnesota Individuals: Borowicz – 21 points, 5 assists, 5 steals, 9-11 FG; Alanna Micheaux – 15 points, 9 rebounds; Amaya Battle – 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, Angelina Hammond – 8 points.

Key Team Stats: Liberty shot 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the foul line but only 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from beyond the three-point arc. The two teams each grabbed 38 rebounds, with the Lady Flames’ 15 offensive boards leading to 16 second-chance points. Liberty was outscored in bench points for the first time this season, as the Golden Gophers’ reserves tallied 27 points to Liberty’s 11.

Turning Point
Berkman opened the second-half scoring with a three-point play, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 36-34.

Isabelle Gradwell countered with a three-pointer on the Golden Gophers’ next offensive trip, initiating a 14-5 Minnesota surge over the next seven minutes.

Liberty was unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the evening.

Game Summary
First Quarter

  • Minnesota emerged with a 16-15 edge after a first quarter which featured four lead changes.
  • Alanna Micheaux led all players with eight points for the Golden Gophers, while the Lady Flames enjoyed a 14-9 rebounding advantage.

Second Quarter

  • Berkman went to work in the second quarter with nine points and five rebounds.
  • However, Minnesota guard Borowicz hit two early triples and scored 11 points of her own as the Golden Gophers outscored Liberty, 20-16, to take a 36-31 halftime lead.

Third Quarter

  • Minnesota built a trio of 11-point leads during the third quarter, including a 55-44 cushion at the conclusion of the period. The Golden Gophers doubled up the Lady Flames on the boards during the third stanza, 14-7.

Fourth Quarter

  • Liberty recorded its highest-scoring quarter of the contest in the fourth session, dropping in 21 points on 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the field. Berkman and Williams combined for 19 of the Lady Flames’ tallies.
  • However, Minnesota shut the door on a Liberty comeback by posting 22 fourth-quarter points, including 10 by Amaya Battle.

Notes and Nuggets

  • Berkman’s 20-point game was her first of the season and the fourth of her career. Her 26 tallies were the most by a Lady Flame since Jan. 3, 2021, when Ashtyn Baker posted 27 against Lipscomb.
  • Berkman’s second double-double in as many days was her third of the season and the 10th of her career.
  • Williams’ 21 points shattered her previous career high of 13. She and Berkman are the first Liberty duo to score 20+ points in a game since March 7, 2020, when Emily Lytle had 29 and Asia Todd added 20 at Kennesaw State.
  • Williams connected on all seven of her free throws and has now made 14 in a row since missing her first foul shot attempt this season.
  • Hess had not blocked a shot this season and had only posted four blocks in her career before rejecting a career-high three Minnesota shots on Sunday.
  • Liberty drops to 2-7 all-time against Big Ten opponents.
  • The Lady Flames’ current three-game losing streak is their longest since dropping five in a row between Nov. 8-24, 2019.

Up Next
Liberty will continue its trek around the Commonwealth with a visit to old Big South Conference rival Radford (3-3) on Dec. 4. Tipoff is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. inside the Dedmon Center for the 71st all-time meeting between the Lady Flames and Highlander

Virginia Tech upsets the liberty flames at williams stadium 23-22


It has been nearly two years since Liberty University and Virginia Tech met in the gridiron.  The last contest was a memorable game for several reasons.  Liberty visited the Hokies and made history with an impressive 38-35 win as it was arguably the biggest win in Flames’ history until this year.


That game marked the coming out party of Malik Willis (Tennessee Titans).  The differences are evident as not only the cast has changed but Brent Pry is the new VT coach and they are mired in a disappointing 2-8 season.  The Flames on the other hand have catapulted into the national spotlight with the tremendous home triumph over BYU and then the program changing victory at SEC member, the Arkansas Razorbacks.


The teams seem to be going in opposite directions but for game, their seasons collided.


With the backdrop of the tragic events in Charlottesville, both teams honored the University of Virginia by wearing uniforms in orange for VT and blue for Liberty.


The visitors got off to a great start scoring first when Jalen Holston rumbled in from two yards out.  The Flames did not stay down long as they covered 89 yards towards the end of the first quarter.  They tied the score when QB Jonathan Bennett scrambled 15 yards into the endzone.


The second quarter saw more scoring as both teams put up 10 points each.  Holston scored his second touchdown to give VT a 14-7 lead and a Hokie field goal made it 17-7. Liberty quickly responded when Shedrick Louis took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to electrify the home crowd and swing momentum into the side of the blue clad Flames.  The Flames shut down the next Virginia Tech possession and drive the field to tie the game with a field goal at 17 with five seconds just before halftime.


The Flames defense continued the hot streak and sack VT quarterback Grant Wells for a safety. They added another field goal to score 15 consecutive points and take a 22-17 lead.


In the fourth quarter as Liberty was looking to finish the game, disaster struck.  The first turnover for either team happened on a QB Kaden Salter fumble in VT territory.  The Hokies took the gift and unwrapped in the endzone on Holston’s third TD of the game. His 99 rushing yards led all players.  


The two point conversion failed and the shock and suddenness was evident to the crowd as the Flames had a little over seven minutes inter fourth quarter to re-capture the lead.  Each team traded possessions and the Flames had one more chance until disaster struck again.  Another fumble, this time from Bennett, resulted in the second and last chance turnover for Liberty.  VT soaked up the win by taking a couple of kneel downs and celebrate with the upset win over their commonwealth rival.  The final score was 23-22 and it marked the highlight of the season for Virginia Tech.  Liberty unfortunately now drops to 8-3 and suffered their first losing streak of the year. 


EMSPORTS 11/19/2022





Liberty Extends Hugh Freeze Contract Through 2030


       LYNCHBURG, Va. – On the heels of the most historic win in program history, Flames Nation has something else to celebrate during the football program’s annual bye week. 

       Today, Liberty University announced it has extended its contract with Flames Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze through the 2030 season.

       “We are grateful for Coach Freeze’s outstanding leadership of Liberty Football and the positive influence he has on our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “Liberty Football is realizing the vision that was cast for it decades ago and we are excited that Coach Freeze will lead the program into the future.”

       Last Saturday, Liberty defeated BYU, 41-14, before 24,012 fans in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. The largest crowd to ever see a game at Williams Stadium witnessed history in the making and they stormed the field following the convincing win to celebrate.

       When the school was founded in 1971, Liberty’s founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. had a vision for Liberty Athletics. The renowned pastor wanted to create a school that offered Christian student-athletes the chance to play at the highest level of collegiate competition, like what Notre Dame offered to those of the Catholic faith and BYU provided to Mormon student-athletes.

        In the eyes of many long-time Flames supporters, Liberty’s win over BYU was an important milestone towards fulfilling the vision cast 50 years ago and punctuated the Flames’ rapid ascent in the FBS ranks.

       Freeze has guided Liberty every season since the Flames have been bowl eligible, winning eight or more games each of the last three seasons (2019: 8-5, 2020: 10-1; 2021: 8-5).

       Overall, the Flames are currently in their fourth season under Freeze. He has led Liberty to a 33-12 overall record and has the team bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.

       After winning five games in a row, Liberty is currently 7-1 in 2022 and is the second team outside the top 25 in the Associated Press and AFCA Coaches Poll national rankings.

       Liberty is just one of five FBS teams in the country who have won a bowl game each of the last three seasons, joining the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.

       Liberty is the second team in NCAA history to win a bowl game during its first three full seasons at the FBS level (2019, 2020 and 2021), all coming under Freeze’s leadership.

       During his four-year tenure on the Mountain, Freeze has guided Liberty through a series of “firsts” in program history: first bowl game (2019 Cure Bowl), first bowl game win (2019 Cure Bowl over Georgia Southern), first national ranking (including a No. 17 final ranking in 2020), first wins over ACC teams (Syracuse and Virginia Tech in 2020) and the first win over a nationally ranked FBS team (No. 9 Coastal Carolina in the 2020 Cure Bowl).

       Today’s contract extension notice gives Freeze the chance to add another “first” to his Liberty coaching resume. Last November, Liberty announced it is moving its athletics department to Conference USA starting with the 2023-24 season, giving Freeze a chance to win Liberty’s first-ever FBS conference championship in 2023.




Lynchburg VA

Liberty’s first touchdown of the morning workout came when quarterback Johnathan Bennett completed a 20-yard scoring play to wide receiver Caleb Snead. Quarterback Nate Hampton added a second scoring pass when he found Jaivian Lofton. Snead caught a 20- yard pass for

a touchdown against his former Teammate Chris Megginson from Heritage High School. Also, Micah Glaize former  Brookville player had a good defensive game. EM-SPORTS 4/9/22


Lynchburg VA

A good day for Malik Willis for a pro-day in front of the NFL scout's upper administration and several head coaches. Willis dazzled onlookers with passes, one after another, slicing through the air a slight whistle and pinpoint accuracy. Liberty Quarterback
Malik Willis impressed a school-day 60 NFL coaches, scouts, and executives from all 32 teams with the arm. Hugh Freeze said that Malik Willis has only played football for two
years in college. also  Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin among attendees at pro-day at Liberty University. EM-SPORTS 3/23/22




Liberty Basketball Associate Head Coach Brad Soucie Steps Down


LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty men’s basketball associate head coach Brad Soucie has announced that he is stepping away to pursue other interests and will not return next season.


“I am so thankful to have served alongside Ritchie for 27 years and to have had the opportunity to serve so many student athletes,” Soucie said. “It has been an honor to coach at Liberty and be a part of the amazing vision. Liberty basketball is in great hands with Ritchie’s leadership, and I know more success is coming. Thank you everyone for making my time at Liberty University so special.”


Soucie has been by head coach Ritchie McKay’s side since 1996 on the sidelines as Soucie has helped build Liberty Basketball into one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Soucie oversaw a defense that proved to be one of the best in the country over recent years, ranking in the top 50 the last five seasons and as high as No. 2 during the 2020 season. The Flames have won 20-plus games in seven of the nine seasons during Soucie’s time at Liberty including capturing the Flames’ first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 2019.


“It is not often you get to journey with someone in this profession for 27 straight years, so I am thankful for the blessing that it has been to do so with Brad,” McKay said. “He has definitely had an impact on the program and the players’ lives that he had the opportunity to be a part of. I am very thankful for him and wish him great success in the future.”

 Liberty flames advance in playoff

Lynchburg VA

Liberty keep their playoff alive by beating Lipscom'S 52-47 it was an uphill batter.
Darius McGhee hit the first three points for Liberty both teams struggled on offense
in the first four minutes of the contest. The Flames led most of the game Lipscomb''s
was able to take its first lead of the game (22-21) with three minutes before halftime.
After halftime Lipscomb change their defense by putting a big man on Darius McGhee
to try to stop him from scoring but Darius McGhee finished with 26 points. Lipscomb's top score was Trae Benham with 21 points. Liberty Flames will host Bellarmine on 
Saturday, March 5 in the ASUN Semifinals tipoff is set for 6 pm in Lynchburg Va.


Liberty men's baseball win home opener against North Carolina a&t 12-2


Liberty Flames were enjoying a great season and looking at another win as Florida Gulf Coast came to Lynchburg.  The Fames were ahead by 1 full game in the Atlantic Sun East Division and aiming to win another conference title.


The Flames were on a two game winning streak and with one game left after tonight, they could almost wrap up the A-Sun title with a win.


FGCU got off to a good start and continue to score as Liberty had to climb out of an early hole.  With only about two minutes remaining in the 1st half, Liberty grabbed their first lead.  They held the lead at 31-29 in this closely contested affair. 


The game couldn't have been closer as FGCU scratched and clawed back into the game and took the lead with over a minute left.  With Liberty down 66-64 and staring defeat in the face, they didn't quit.  Liberty scored with 41 seconds remaining and forced overtime. With the momentum, Liberty looked to ride into overtime and a win but the Eagles had all the answers.  


The Flames could not sustain their energy and FGCU took an early lead after a 3 in overtime.  Even with the efforts of all conference guard, Darius McGhee, who scored 28, the home team was overwhelmed by Tavian-Dunn Martin who scored a game high 43 and his team won by 10, 82-72 in an electric atmosphere in Lynchburg.  FGCU capitalized most at the free throw line making 18 of 21 attempts.  Liberty was only 7 of 12.  The three-point shot was seen throughout the game as the teams combined for 15 of 55 with the Eagles making good on eight and Liberty converted 7.


The loss drops Liberty (20-10) into a tie at the top with Jacksonville University as both teams have one game left in regular season before the tournament.  FGCU (19-10) moves into third place with the win.


EMSPORTS 2/23/2022

darius mcghEE is the most explosive guard that I have ever seen



He is the most explosive guard that I have ever seen. He'll probably go down in history

the best guard to ever at Liberty U and maybe the best basketball player ever in Liberty's history.  McGee's 21.4 points per game rank sixth in D-1 basketball.  The top five scorers above McGhee are taller than under 6'-1".  What he is doing at his height is nothing short of spectacular.

McGhee is the reigning ASUN Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that the career 37.4-percent 3-point shooter also led the conference in total points scored last season as well.

McGhee has gone overlooked his entire life — not by his opponents, to be clear — by coaches and scouts alike. When he committed to Liberty, McGhee claimed four other offers from Longwood, George Mason, High Point and Campbell. It was a perplexing notion because his region was experiencing Chris Clemons’ prolific collegiate career during McGhee’s recruitment. The pair carried the same questions coming out of high school before breakout D-1 careers.

“I think all of us have a chip; you cannot play at this level without a chip,” McGhee said. “Especially at my size, you have to play with a chip. My strength coach and I had this conversation the other day; we are about the same size. We didn’t realize we were small until someone told us.”





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