During the last seven months, the face and direction of Liberty University football have changed, preparing the program to fulfill the ultimate aspirations of the university.
In December, President Jerry Falwell, Jr. introduced Turner Gill as the program's eighth head coach. At the same time, Liberty announced it was conducting a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) feasibility study to determine the school's appropriate placement in the intercollegiate realm.
Nearly a half year later and before a record Commencement crowd in May, President Falwell declared the university’s intention to seek NCAA Division I FBS conference affiliation for its 20-team athletics program. This initiative would give the football program the chance to compete at the highest level of NCAA Division I competition.
Gill, the former head coach at Kansas and a Heisman Trophy quarterback candidate at Nebraska, has assembled a coaching staff at Liberty ready to face these challenges. His Christ-centered staff includes the likes of Carl Torbush, a former North Carolina head coach; Vantz Singletary, nephew of former NFL head coach Mike Singletary; and Mike Minter, a 10-year NFL veteran with the Carolina Panthers.
Gill’s first squad at Liberty returns 16 starters and 43 letterwinners from the 2011 season, a campaign that capped off the most successful five-year run in program history.
The new era of Liberty football begins on Sept. 1 when the Flames face ACC foe Wake Forest. The Flames, a perennial Top 25 program, will begin their quest to capture their fifth conference title in the last six seasons and qualify for the NCAA FCS playoffs when Liberty takes to the gridiron against the Demon Deacons.
I am honored and grateful to coach and mentor young men at a university that supports having Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.”