Liberty University’s wide-ranging Club Sports program now offers everything from archery and ice hockey to paintball and tae kwon do. With 32 teams (17 men’s and 15 women’s), the program has produced a number of regional and national champions. Teams travel all across the country to compete against some of the best athletes in their sport.
The Division I women’s hockey team was ranked No. 1 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association for more than two months last season and advanced to the national championship game for the first time, where it finished as the runner-up with an impressive 29-3 record. The men’s and women’s snowboarding teams marked success at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in Idaho; the men finished fourth, notching an individual win in the Big Air event, and the women had an individual fourth-place showing and All-American nod.
Also last year, the Flames men’s lacrosse team captured its first Southeast Lacrosse Conference tournament title and went on to become semifinalists in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division II national tournament. The wrestling team repeated its third-place performance at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships and brought home an individual national title.
One Flames team has even had the opportunity to compete on an international stage. In 2012, two members of the triathlon team, along with their coach, traveled to New Zealand for the World Age Group Triathlon Championships.
“We’re very happy with the direction our Club Sports program is heading. It’s continuing to grow and grow,” said Kirk Handy, Liberty’s senior director of campus recreation and head coach of the Division I men’s hockey team, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
The newest addition to the Club Sports program is a women’s equestrian team, which launched last summer. Staff plan to add a men’s swimming team in 2015.
“We’re continuing to push all of our programs to the next level, and it’s encouraging to see so many teams take that step,” Handy said. “We’re proud of the staff, coaches, and student athletes who are working hard to make our programs better every year.”