LYNCHBURG, Va. – Five new members will be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony in September.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 will include representatives from baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s cross country/track & field and women’s basketball.
The five-member class, the 11th to be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, will be honored during special ceremonies surrounding Liberty’s football matchup with Buffalo on Sept. 14 at Williams Stadium.
The five-member class includes Renard Brown (baseball), Johnnie Engelhardt (men’s cross country/track & field), Steve Isaacs (men’s basketball), Mickey Paige (football) and Sharon [Wilkerson] Emory (women’s basketball).
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Sept. 13 on the Club Pavilion level of the Williams Stadium Tower. Additionally, the five-member class will receive special recognition during the Buffalo contest the evening following the ceremony.
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates the best of the best, honoring those who helped shape the face of Liberty Athletics. The Hall of Fame’s now 57 members have each played a key role in helping Liberty grow from an NCCAA program in 1972 to its current status as a thriving NCAA Division I program.
Renard Brown’s impact on Liberty’s record book still stands today despite him last stepping on the diamond for the Flames nearly four decades ago.
Brown finished his three-year career at Liberty with a .376 batting average, which ranks second in school history to fellow Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Sid Bream. He also ranks inside the top 10 of several other career categories, including runs (eighth, 153), triples (third, 20) and walks (tenth, 88).
The native of Baltimore, Md., was an NAIA All-America honorable mention selection in 1981 and helped the Flames advance to the NAIA World Series after winning the NAIA District 19 and Area 8 tournament events. As a senior in 1982, he led the Flames with a .409 batting average, 56 RBI and 67 hits.
Following his stellar career at Liberty, Brown was selected in the third round of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He had a six-year professional baseball career, playing four years in the Seattle organization and two more for Milwaukee, reaching as high as the AAA level in 1984.
Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field: 1982-84
Following a six-year stint serving our country in the United States Army, Johnnie Engelhardt came to Liberty where he became the Flames’ first NCAA Division II men’s cross country All-American.
Engelhardt individually placed 12th at the 1983 NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Championship, which earned him All-America status. His 12th-place showing helped Liberty finish in 10th place as a team after the Flames captured the Division II South Regional title. En route to success at nationals, he also helped Liberty claim the program’s first-ever Mason-Dixon Conference title in 1983 with his third-place showing at the championship event.
The native of Willingboro, N.J., also found success in the distance events for the Flames’ track & field programs. He earned NAIA All-America honors in the indoor two-mile run in 1983 and was named the MVP of the 1983 NAIA Indoor District 29 Championship.
Engelhardt still holds the program record in the marathon when he clocked a second-place time of 2:25.19 in the Carolina Marathon in 1983. He also ranks among the Flames’ all-time top 10 performers in the indoor 1,500 (third place), outdoor distance medley relay (sixth place) and 10K (10th place).
Men’s Basketball: 1980-83
Liberty’s all-time career leader in rebounding, Steve Isaacs continually crashed the boards for the Flames to help him become the eighth men’s basketball player to join the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame.
Isaacs completed his stellar four-year career with 1,130 career rebounds and is one of only three players in program history with 1,000 career boards. He also ranks fifth in program history, having scored 1,777 career points, while averaging 14.2 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per contest for the Flames on the hardwood.
The Flames posted a pair of 20-win seasons during his time at Liberty, including a 28-11 record during his freshman year, which ranks first in school history in wins in a season in the pre-Division I era. Isaacs’ strong play as a freshman helped the Flames capture the 1980 NCCAA national championship.
Isaacs was named to two All-America teams during his collegiate career, earning NAIA All-America honorable mention status in 1982 and a spot on the 1983 NAIA All-America second team. The native of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished his career with 26 20-point games and three 30-point games.
Mickey Paige, Liberty’s first NCAA Division I football All-American, set standards at Liberty that have only been matched by a fellow Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer.
The hometown native of Lynchburg, Va., finished his four-year career as a Flame with 427 career tackles, which ranks second to 2012 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inductee John Sanders. The pair are the only two players in program history with 400 or more career tackles.
Paige, a linebacker for the Flames, was a two-time All-American. He earned Football Gazette first-team All-America status in 1997 and was named to the Football Gazette third team in 1988 during the Flames’ first year at the NCAA Division I level.
Paige finished the last three years of his career posting 100 or more tackles per season and set program records with 113 assisted tackles and four fumble recoveries in 1988 as a senior. His tackle total of 150 in 1987 still ranks second in school history, missing the program record by one.
Following his playing days on Liberty Mountain, Paige signed a free agent contract with the Washington Commandos of the Arena Football League in 1989 where he played for two seasons.
Sharon [Wilkerson] Emory
Women’s Basketball: 1997-2000
Sharon [Wilkerson] Emory is the second member of a key three-player group to be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, helping establish women’s basketball as one of the most dominant programs in school history.
Emory, along with her twin sister Sarah [Wilkerson] Erps and 2009 Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Elena [Kisseleva] Bengds, helped turn a fledgling women’s basketball program that was 5-22 prior to their arrival into a team that won four straight Big South titles during her career and made the first four of the program’s 17 trips to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The native of Princeton, W.Va., ranks fifth in program history, having scored 1,733 career points, and is the program’s all-time leader with 304 career steals. She also ranks second in career three-point field goals (172), three-point field goal percentage (36.3) and minutes played (3,712) and fourth in free throws (361) and free throw shooting percentage (77.3).
Emory was a four-time All-Big South first-team honoree and was named to the Big South All-Tournament team three times. During her senior year, she was honored as the 2000 Big South Player of the Year after she averaged 13.9 points per game and shot 47.6 percent from the field (159-of-334) and 38.5 percent from three-point range (37-of-96).
Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame
Class of 2009 (Inaugural Class)
Dr. Jerry Falwell (founder/former University chancellor)
Arthur L. Williams (athletics financial supporter)
Elena (Kisseleva) Bengds (women’s basketball)
Bob Bonheim (wrestling and football coach)
Sid Bream (baseball)
Kelvin Edwards (football)
Karl Hess (men’s basketball)
Class of 2010
Theresa Bream (women’s basketball/volleyball)
Gina Gibson (women’s track & field)
Lee Guetterman (baseball)
Chip Smith (football)
Al Worthington (baseball coach and athletics director)
Class of 2011
Paul Annan (men’s soccer)
Fred Banks (football)
Bill Bell (men’s soccer coach)
Jerry Edwards (radio play-by-play)
Heather (Sagan) Zealand (women’s cross country/track & field)
Class of 2012
Jesse Castro (wrestling)
Mark Chafin (men’s basketball)
John Sanders (football)
Sharon Snodgrass (women’s basketball)
Ryan Werner (men’s track & field)
Class of 2013
Anthonia (Akpama) Oyedele (volleyball)
Bailey Alston (men’s basketball)
Brenda Bonheim (volleyball and women’s basketball coach/SWA)
Nancy (Davis) White (women’s soccer)
Robby Justino (football)
Class of 2014
Mike Decker (men’s track & field)
Wayne Haddix (football)
Matt Hildebrand (men’s basketball)
Jake Matthes (men’s cross country/track & field coach)
Delethea Quarles (women’s track & field)
Class of 2015
Eric Green (football)
Mike Hatch (wrestling)
Katie [Feenstra] Mattera (women’s basketball)
Sam Rutigliano (football coach)
Pat Sipe (baseball)
Class of 2016
Annie Hunt Fairchild (women’s cross country/track & field)
Steve Kearns (football)
Todd Setsma (men’s golf)
Randy Tomlin (baseball)
Ed Vickers (men’s basketball)
Class of 2017
Sam Chelanga (men’s cross country/track & field)
Julius Nwosu (men’s basketball)
Katie [Phillips] Bigham (softball)
Richard Shelton (football)
Dave Williams (strength and conditioning coach)
Class of 2018
Peter Aluma (men’s basketball)
Rashad Jennings (football)
Frank Landrey (men’s golf coach)
Danielle [McNaney] Detmer (women’s track & field)
Warren Stewart (wrestling)
Class of 2019
Renard Brown (baseball)
Johnnie Engelhardt (men’s cross country/track & field)
Steve Isaacs (men’s basketball)
Mickey Paige (football)
Sharon [Wilkerson] Emory (women’s basketball)
Danville)Jefferson Forest was behind in fourth- quarter they led a fourth-quarter charge and then propelled the Cavaliers to a 61- 54 overtime victory. two combo guards Jordan Richeson and Stevens combined for eight of JF's 13 points in overtime after the Cavaliers erased an 11-point fourth -quarter deficit to notch a tie at 48 at the end of regulation. Jordan finished with 19 points his teammate Stevens with 18.GW Shunta Wilson had a game-high 20points, had four 3- pointers, keeping GW in the game with four minutes to in overtime. Forest had the hot hand in overtime outscored GW 13-6. the Cavaliers face Region 4C runner-up Loudoun Valley in a Class 4 state quarterfinal game Friday. it will be at Lynchburg College a time to be determined. EM-SPORTS 2/23/19
(Naruna)William Campbell and Altavista started off as a low-scoring game 8- 3 at the end of the first quarter. The pace of the game picked up in the second quarter William Campbell went up by one Altavista came back to tie the game up 14 to 14 with 5 minutes left in the second quarter. William Campbell took a seven-point run then Altavista put a full court press cause Campbell to turn the ball over and cut the lead down to one at Halftime 19-18 Beginning of the third quarter the Generals took control last two quarters to win 55 to 44 the top score for Campbell Nikia Peerman with 13 points Altavista top score Lance Bain 14 points. EM-SPORTS 2/19/19
Lynchburg) It was hype game between Glass and LCA Friday night with a packed house at LCA. The game started off at a fast pace. Glass went cold the first two minutes of the second quarter Glass was down by five points with three minutes to go before halftime Glass came back to tie the game up before halftime 23 to 23 start of the third quarter Glass too lead 35 -27 LCA was down by seven at the end of the third quarter. LCA had 13 turnovers with their leaders' score Stephen Burggraf had only 11 points in the game was coming off a sensational two-game stretch in which he totaled 58 points. DreSean Kendrick was keyed as he slashed into the lane, to score. Raykwonn had the hot hand in second - half to keep Glass in game. Reashawn Spaulding 17points and pulling down 10 rebounds, his brother Raywonn Spaulding score
23 points and added five rebounds and five steals for the win sets up a region semifinal matchup with George Washington tuening night. EM-SPORTS 2/15/19
North Texas first time visit Lynchburg to play Liberty Flames in football they took advantage of that by beat Flames 47 to 7 at William Stadium. North Texas scored first
with a pass from Mason fine to Jaelon Darden for a six-yard score. North Texas came right back with 22- yard touchdown reception to lead 14 to 0 in the second quarter.
Liberty wide receiver BJ Farrow got open to catch a four-yard touchdown pass
to cut the lead to 14 to 7. North Texas stay in the lead whole game. 9/22/18
UWO too an early lead they went up by 8 points with 12:47 left in the first half. Wesleyan came
back to cut the lead by two before halftime. Deion Wells made the key basket to bring Wesleyan
within two. Wells had 8 points in the first half but it was key points in the game. star of the
second half Wesleyan too largest lead by 10 with 8:27 to go in the game. Ben Boots put his
team back in the game with three threes in a row to tie the game. the score was tied 5-time
the lead changed 7 times Cooper Cook was MVP of the game with 16 points for Wesleyan
and Nate Schimonitz had 15 points also jack Hiller with 14 points. Ben Boots had 24 points
for Oshkosh. By EM- SPORTS 3/17/18
UW-Oshkosh beat Ramapo 73-57 in the first game. Adam Fravert had 21 points and Brett Wittchow with 18 points also Ben Boots had 13 points.Bonacum Thomas had 11 points for Ramapo.Oshkosh went up by 19 points in the second half of game. the game was tied 1 time and the lead changed 1 time. Salem VA EM- Sports 3/16/18
the second game between Springfield and Nebraska Wesleyan was fast pace game Wesleyan too early
lead by 7 points in 1st Half.Springfield scores 16 points in paint and Wesleyan 12 in paint.Springfield had
14 rebounds on offense and 29 rebounds on defense. Wesleyan had more rebounds than Springfield they
end up with 19 rebounds offense and 25 defense. the game was tied 6 times and the lead changed 10 times the game went in overtime the score 73-73. Wesleyan went cold in overtime missing shot from
outside, Springfield got hot in overtime hit there outside shot with Jake Ross taking control of the game with 13 points he also got help from Andy McNulty with 11 points.Cooper Cook had 13 points Wesleyan.
Springfield will play UW Oshkosh for Championship Saturday night at Salem Civic Center in Salem VA
Liberty Advances to Semifinals Defeating Campbell 73-59
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – In a day full of tight contests at Kimmel Arena in the Big South Quarterfinals, Liberty closed out today’s play posting the only double-digit win of the day defeating Campbell 73-59. With the win, the Flames advance to the semifinals to face UNC Asheville.
“Our defense was significantly better tonight than what it was the first two games,” head coach Ritchie McKay said. “I am really happy for our guys because the last two seasons we were gone in the first round.”
The Flames (19-13) picked up their first win in the Big South Tournament since March 10, 2013 when they claimed the title over Charleston Southern. With the victory, the Flames tie the school record for most wins in back-to-back seasons with 40 victories (21 wins in 2016-17) tying the record set back in 1996-97 and now have the chance to be the first team in school history with back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Entering Thursday’s game, the Camels (16-15) shot 58.2 percent from the floor and 63.3 percent from three-point range against Liberty this season and the Flames were able to flip the script in the tournament limiting the Camels to 33.3 (8-24) percent from three and 35.8 (19-53) percent from the floor. While suffocating Campbell’s offense, Liberty’s offense shot 54.9 percent (28-51) for the game with five different players in double figures. Myo Baxter-Bell and Scottie James led Liberty with 14 points each.
“We just tried to make every shot they took as tough as possible,” Cabbil said following the win. “We knew they were going to make some tough ones but we just moved on to the next play.”
The Flames’ bench was key to their win outscoring Campbell’s bench 31-15 led by Baxter-Bell and Caleb Homesley with 12 points to go along with eight rebounds. Lovell Cabbil had the task of guarding Chris Clemons and despite scoring 23 points, Cabbil limited Clemons to 31.8 percent for the night. While guarding Clemons on defense, Cabbil filled the stat sheet on offense scoring 13 points while pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out two assists.
Led by James with four points in the first two minutes, Liberty started the game 6-10 from the field with eight of its points coming inside the paint, jumping out to a 13-9 lead. Liberty’s defense tightened up midway through the half as its defense held Campbell without a field goal for nearly five and a half minutes helping the Flames extend their lead to 20-14.
After starting the half 1-9 from three-point range, Campbell made back-to-back makes in the late in the half to cut Liberty’s lead (31-24) to single digits. The Flames were able to lock up on defense to close out the half, allowing just three points in the final 2:14 of the half. The Flames went into the break with a 37-27 lead. Thirty-seven points was the most points Liberty has scored in a first half in the Big South tournament since March 7, 2013 when the Flames scored 39 against High Point.
The Flames were able to receive scoring contributions from seven of the nine players that played for the Flames in the first half led by Baxter-Bell with 10 points, shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field.
Like the start of the first half, Liberty would get off to an exceptional start on offense in the second half, shooting 80 percent (8-10) to extend its lead to 15 points (55-40) at the 11:37-mark. The Camels were able to respond, holding the Camels scoreless for just over two minutes to come within 10 points (55-45).
Struggling on offense to make a field goal in the final five minutes, Liberty was still able to put points on the board converting from the free-throw line making 7-10 in the second half. Off the bench, Baxter-Bell and Homesley combined to go for 12-13 from the field with 26 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. The Flames’ defense continued to frustrate Campbell’s offense in the second half limiting the Camels to 35.7 percent (10-28) in the second half.
“Tonight was a great win but we have to move on and focus on UNC Asheville,” Cabbil added. “They are a great team so we just have to take it one possession at a time.”
Liberty will now face the No. 1 seed, UNC Asheville, in the semifinals on Friday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at Kimmel Arena against the Bulldogs.
Hampton head football coach Robert Prunty.
On Friday, Prunty was introduced to the university and media as the Pirates' new head coach.
After spending last season as East Carolina's defensive line coach for two games, and the defensive coordinator for the remaining 10, Prunty embarks on his first head coaching journey in the college ranks.
It was 1983 when a young Prunty came to Hampton as a student-athlete to start his college football career. 34 years later, Prunty is back on campus, this time to lead the program into a new era.
Last month, Hampton announced it was leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for the Big South. Instilling a new culture in a new era, is not a new task for Prunty, who's coached under the likes of Tommy Tubberville.
"You take care of the small things the big things take care of themselves," said Prunty.
"Going to class, being accountable, being at practice on time, working hard, studying your playbook, all that stuff goes together. You can't just do it right sometimes, you have to do it right all the time, and that's what makes a successful program."
Prunty won't have to go far to find top talent, as Hampton Roads is home to some of the nation's elite prospects year in, and year out.
"It's like being at a buffet. You get a little bit of everything in the 757,-- im excited to be here now," Prunty said. "We need to be relentless in the 757. Going back on what I said, every coach including me, will have a school in the 757. Our presence, will be felt, all over the 757."
Graduate: Massachusetts ('87)
Undergraduate: Laurentian University ('85)
Ian McCaw has a vision for Liberty University athletics, and he is very eager to see it through.
“My vision for Liberty is to position it as a preeminent Christian athletic program in America and garner the same type of appeal among the Christian community as Notre Dame achieves among the Catholic community and BYU garners from the Mormons,” McCaw said.
McCaw comes to Liberty after spending the last 13 years as athletic director at Baylor University. During that time, Baylor captured five national team championships and 58 Big 12 Conference titles. Baylor’s football team reached bowl games in six consecutive years for the first time in school history, winning the 2013 and 2014 Big 12 championships, and the school’s combined record in football and men’s and women’s basketball of 350-84 over the last five years is best in the nation.
Now, he says, he’s ready to oversee big growth at Liberty: “Liberty to me represents a pinnacle of professional and personal opportunity where we’re going to be able to develop champions for Christ, develop a world-class student athlete experience, and achieve victory with integrity. We certainly want Christian student athletes to grow up dreaming of competing for Liberty University.”
Jerry Falwell, President, Liberty University, is confident McCaw’s experience and past success make him an ideal candidate for the job.
“Ian’s success really speaks for itself,” Falwell said. “You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”
McCaw agrees, and he’s ready to get to work. One of his top priorities is to move Liberty football to a top-tier division, and compete regularly against the elite teams in the nation: “While we’re proud members of the Big South, we want to build this program to compete at the highest level nationally and the goal of FBS football is very much at the forefront.”
Those in Waco who knew McCaw’s Baylor track record were quick to endorse the choice, even though they wished he had opted to stay at Baylor.
Legendary former Baylor Head Coach and Athletic Director Grant Teaff said, “Ian’s high level of accomplishment as an athletic director is recognized nationwide and well appreciated by the various university constituencies at Baylor. His character and integrity also make him a great fit for Liberty University.” Teaff served as Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association for 22 years and is currently its Emeritus Executive Director.
Current Baylor Trustee Jay Allison added, “Ian McCaw is a fine man with a record of success during his time here at Baylor. I am confident he will prove to be an outstanding athletic director for Liberty.”