Liberty Flames football

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Liberty Flames Football
2017 Liberty Flames football team
LU Flames wordmark.png
First season 1973 (1973)
Athletic director Ian McCaw
Head coach Turner Gill
5th season, 35–25 (.583)
Stadium Williams Stadium
Seating capacity 19,200
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
NCAA division Division I FCS
Conference Big South
All-time record 211–203–4 (.510)
Bowl record 0–0 (–)
Conference titles 7
Rivalries Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Colors Red, White, and Blue[1]
              
Fight song Fan The Flames
Mascot Sparky
Marching band The Spirit of the Mountain
Website LibertyFlames.com

The Liberty Flames is the college football program representing Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Flames currently compete in NCAA Division I FCS as members of the Big South Conference.[2] The school recently announced it would start a transition to the top level of NCAA football, Division I FBS, in July 2017. The Flames will become a provisional FBS member, playing as an independent, in 2018, and will become a full FBS member, including bowl eligibility, in 2019.[3]

History[edit]

Liberty Flames football in 2007

Liberty's football program is headed by Turner Gill who took over in December 2011 after previously being head coach at Kansas and Buffalo. Liberty plays its home games at Williams Stadium which has a capacity of 19,200.

Year-by-year results[edit]

Liberty vs. In-State NCAA Division I schools[edit]

School Record Percentage Streak First Meeting Last Meeting
Hampton 4-2 .667 Lost 2 1979 1998
James Madison 6-11 .353 Won 1 1981 2014
Norfolk State 3-2 .600 Won 1 1997 2014
Old Dominion 0-1 .000 Lost 1 2013 2013
Richmond 0-2 .000 Lost 2 2013 2014
Virginia 0-0 - - -
Virginia Tech 0-1 .000 Lost 1 2016 2016
VMI 10-3 .769 Won 8 1995 2013
William & Mary 0-4 .000 Lost 4 2004 2007
Liberty 23 – In-State NCAA Division I Schools 25

Playoff appearances[edit]

Liberty has made one appearance in the I-AA/FCS playoffs since 1989.

Year Round Opponent Result
2014 First Round
Second Round
James Madison
Villanova
W 26–21
L 22–29
Playoff Record} 1–1

Conference Championships[edit]

Liberty has won seven Big South Conference championships.

Conference affiliations:

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
2007 Big South Conference Danny Rocco 8–3 4–0
2008 Big South Conference Danny Rocco 10–2 5–0
2009 Big South Conference (Co-Championship) Danny Rocco 8–3 5–1
2010 Big South Conference (Co-Championship) Danny Rocco 8–3 5–1
2012 Big South Conference (Co-Championship) Turner Gill 6–5 5–1
2013 Big South Conference (Co-Championship) Turner Gill 8–4 4–1
2014 Big South Conference (Co-Championship) Turner Gill 9–5 4–1
Total conference championships 7

2007 Big South Conference Champions[edit]

The Liberty Flames captured their first Big South Conference Football championship with a commanding 31–0 victory over Gardner-Webb University. The Flames capped off their second year under head coach Danny Rocco with an 8–3 record and an unblemished 4–0 Big South record to claim the title. The same week, The Liberty University Men's Soccer team beat Radford University 2–1 to capture the Big South Conference soccer title and their first appearance in the national tournament. Also that same week, the Liberty Women's Volleyball team shutout Winthrop in the finals of the Big South Volleyball tournament. it was the first conference championship for the volleyball team since 2001. The Liberty Men's and Women's cross country teams also won the Big South Championship with Josh McDougal, Jordan McDougal and Jarvis Jelen sweeping the top 3 positions in the men's race for the third straight year.[4][5]

2008 Big South Conference Champions[edit]

Topping its 2007 performance, Liberty ran its unbeaten Big South streak to 11-straight games, finishing back-to-back conference championship seasons with a 30–10 victory over Gardner-Webb. The Flames finished with a 10–2 record on the year and finished the conference slate unbeaten at 5–0. Liberty’s victory allowed the Flames to become the first team in Big South history to win five conference games in a season and to join Gardner-Webb as the only two teams to post consecutive unbeaten seasons. Liberty finished ranked 15th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 14th in the Sports Network Poll.[6][7][8]

2009 Big South Conference Co-Champions[edit]

Undefeated in Big South play for 2009, the Flames just needed to capture a win over Stony Brook in the season finale to secure a 3rd straight Big South Conference Championship. Stony Brook who had only lost one game in Big South play (a 30–27 overtime loss to Charleston Southern the previous week) for 2009 could claim half of the Big South Championship with a win over Liberty. The Seawolves didn't back down from the challenge and won the game 36–33 to share the 2009 Big South Championship with the Liberty Flames.[9]

2010 Big South Conference Co-Champions[edit]

Liberty again became conference co-champions in 2010. They were looking to beat Stony Brook in the season finale to win the 2010 Big South Championship but they first had to beat rival Coastal Carolina. Coastal beat Liberty for the first time since 2006 then the Flames bounced back the next week to secure a win over Stony Brook and a share of the conference championship (3 way tie with Coastal Carolina and Stony Brook).

2012 Big South Conference Co-Champions[edit]

Liberty became the conference co-champion for the fifth time in 2012. After starting off 2–0 in conference play, Liberty traveled to Coastl Carolina, where they lost to the Chanticleers 36–12, bringing their overall record to 3–5. Liberty would then play then ninth ranked Stony Brook, beating them 28–14, also extending their at home conference win streak which dates back to 2006. In order to win a share at the Big South title, they would have to beat the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. Liberty won the game 33–14, and won a share of the title along with Stony Brook and Coastal Carolina with a record of 6–5 (5–1 in conference play).

2013 Big South Conference Co-Champions[edit]

Liberty became the conference co-champion for the sixth time in 2013. Liberty opened up conference play at home against Coastal Carolina, where they let a 19-point lead slip away in the second half as the Chanticleers rallied to win in double overtime, 55–52. The Flames would rebound with a shutout victory at Gardner-Webb which was the first shutout in Turner Gill's eight seasons as a head coach. After victories at home over VMI and Presbyterian, the Flames captured a share of the Big South title with a 56–14 victory at Charleston Southern who has previously beaten Coastal Carolina. Liberty shares the title with Coastal Carolina with identical 4–1 conference marks.

2014 Big South Conference Co-Champions[edit]

Liberty became the conference co-champion for the seventh time in 2014. Liberty started Big South Conference play against Gardner-Webb without a 34–0 shutout victory. After three consecutive conference victories over Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian, and Monmouth, the Flames fell at home to Charleston Southern, 38–36. The loss to Charleston Southern would be Liberty's only loss in Big South play. The Flames rebounded with a 15–14 win over rival Coastal Carolina (ranked 1 in the FCS polls at the time), and Liberty clinched a share of the Big South Conference championship. Liberty also earned its first ever FCS Playoff berth in school history. Liberty defeated James Madison in the first round of the FCS Playoffs, 26–21. Liberty fell to Villanova in the second round of the FCS Playoffs, 29–22.

Former Liberty vs Coastal Carolina Rivalry[edit]

Series tied 7–7

  • 2016 - Liberty @ Coastal - L, 42-7 (Coastal was beginning Two-Year transition to the FBS level and played as an FCS Independent for the 2016 Season; Game televised on ESPNews)
  • 2015 - Coastal @ Liberty - W, 24-21 (Coastal Carolina's last year in the Big South; game televised on ESPNews)
  • 2014 – Liberty @ Coastal – W, 15–14 (Coastal Carolina was ranked 1 in the FCS polls; 11-0)
  • 2013 – Coastal @ Liberty – L, 55–52 (2 OT)
  • 2012 – Liberty @ Coastal – L, 36–12
  • 2011 – Coastal @ Liberty – W, 63–27
  • 2010 – Liberty @ Coastal – L, 45–31
  • 2009 – Coastal @ Liberty – W, 58–13
  • 2008 – Liberty @ Coastal – W, 43–38
  • 2007 – Coastal @ Liberty – W, 37–24
  • 2006 – Liberty @ Coastal – L, 38–26
  • 2005 – Coastal @ Liberty – L, 27–21 (3 OT)
  • 2004 – Liberty @ Coastal – L, 33–6
  • 2003 – Coastal @ Liberty – W, 38–21 (First Meeting)

Liberty vs. FBS schools[edit]

Year FBS Opponent Result Opponent's Conference Opponent's Head Coach Liberty's Head Coach
2016 SMU L, 29–14 American (West) Chad Morris Turner Gill
2016 Virginia Tech L, 36–13 ACC Justin Fuente Turner Gill
2015 Georgia State W, 41–33 Sun Belt Trent Miles Turner Gill
2015 West Virginia L, 41–17 Big 12 Dana Holgorsen Turner Gill
2014 Appalachian State W, 55–48 OT Sun Belt Scott Satterfield Turner Gill
2014 North Carolina L, 56–29 ACC Larry Fedora Turner Gill
2013 Old Dominion L, 21–17 Independent Bobby Wilder Turner Gill
2013 Kent State L, 17–10 MAC (East) Paul Haynes Turner Gill
2012 Wake Forest L, 20–17 ACC (Atlantic) Jim Grobe Turner Gill
2011 North Carolina State L, 43–21 ACC (Atlantic) Tom O'Brien Danny Rocco
2010 Ball State W, 27–23 MAC (West) Stan Parrish Danny Rocco
2009 West Virginia L, 33–20 Big East Bill Stewart Danny Rocco
2007 Toledo L, 35–34 MAC (West) Tom Amstutz Danny Rocco
2006 Wake Forest L, 34–14 ACC (Atlantic) Jim Grobe Danny Rocco
2005 Connecticut L, 59–0 Big East Randy Edsall Ken Karcher
2004 Kent State L, 38–10 MAC (East) Doug Martin Ken Karcher
2003 Bowling Green L, 62–3 MAC (West) Gregg Brandon Ken Karcher
2003 Toledo L, 49–3 MAC (West) Tom Amstutz Ken Karcher
2002 Akron L, 49–21 MAC (East) Lee Owens Ken Karcher
2002 UCF L, 48–17 MAC (East) Mike Kruczek Ken Karcher
2001 South Florida L, 68–37 Independent Jim Leavitt Ken Karcher
2001 UCF L, 63–0 Independent Mike Kruczek Ken Karcher
1999 Marshall L, 63–3 MAC (East) Bob Pruett Sam Rutigliano
1992 Northern Illinois L, 27–21 Independent Charlie Sadler Sam Rutigliano
1989 Eastern Michigan W, 25–24 Mid-American Conference Jim Harkema Sam Rutigliano
Liberty 4 – FBS Schools 21

Former players[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Name Title Coach
Turner Gill Head Coach Head Coach
Ron Brown [10] Associate Head Coach Running Backs
Joe Dailey Offensive Coordinator Quarterbacks
Scott Downing Special Teams Coordinator Tight Ends and Fullbacks
Aaron Stamn Assistant Coach Offensive Lines
Kyle DeArmon Assistant Coach Wide Receivers
Robert Wimberly Defensive Coordinator Safeties
Vantz Singletary Co-Defensive Coordinator Defensive Line
Marshall Roberts Assistant Coach Cornerbacks
Josh Bookbinder Assistant Coach Linebackers
Bryant Lewellyn Assistant Coach Defensive Tackles
Paul Rutigliano Assistant Athletics Director For Football Administration Football Operations
Matt Bevins Director of High School Relations Football Operations
Brett Thiesen Assistant Director of Player Personnel/Pro Scout Liaison Football Operations
Dr. Ed Gomes Director of Spiritual Development Football Operations
Chris Dunfee Equipment Manager Football Operations
Danny Wenger Video Coordinator Football Operations
Barry Finke Senior Assistant Athletic Trainer Football Operations
Bill Gillespie Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Football Operations
Dave Williams Associate Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Football Operations
Carol Bapst Senior Administrative Assistant Football Operations

[11]

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of May 26, 2017[12]

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
at Baylor vs Old Dominion vs Syracuse at Virginia Tech at Troy at Wake Forest at Buffalo vs Wake Forest at Wake Forest vs Virginia
vs Morehead State at Army vs Buffalo at Syracuse at Syracuse vs BYU at Army vs Army
vs Indiana State vs Norfolk State vs New Mexico at North Texas
at Jacksonville State vs North Texas at New Mexico State at Ole Miss
vs Saint Francis at New Mexico at Rutgers vs Army
vs Duquesne at New Mexico State at BYU
vs Troy at Virginia
vs Idaho State vs New Mexico State
at Massachusetts
at Virginia
at Auburn
vs New Mexico State

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Web Content Team | Web Policy | Liberty University". Liberty.edu. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Liberty Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  3. ^ a b Sordelett, Damien (February 16, 2017). "LU to be FBS bowl eligible starting in 2019". The News & Advance. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017. 
  4. ^ Football – News – LibertyFlames.com
  5. ^ ESPN – Liberty 31, Gardner-Webb 0 – NCAA College Football Recap
  6. ^ "Football – News". Liberty Flames. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived September 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ The Sports Network. "Football Championship Subdivision". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  9. ^ "BigSouthSports.com—Official Web Site of the Big South Conference". Bigsouthsports.com. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  10. ^ "Ron Brown". Liberty University. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Football 2012 Season Coaching Staff". libertyflames.com. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  12. ^ "Liberty Flames Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 

External links[edit]