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LFSN Game On Feature Segment: Bob and Brenda Bonheim
Recently, the LFSN Game On crew had a chance to sit down with Bob and Brenda Bonheim, two individuals who were instrumental in the early days of Liberty Athletics.
The husband and wife duo are both members of the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame. Bob was part of Liberty's inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2009, while Brenda was joined the elite group in 2013.
Bob orchestrated the first true national powerhouse at Liberty, guiding the Flames wrestling program to five-straight NCCAA national championships (1977-1981). The two-time NCCAA National Coach of the Year (1976 and 1981) finished his days roaming the mats with a 118-31 dual meet record, winning at an impressive 79.2 percent clip.
A 2003 inductee into the Central Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Bob coached 35 All-Americans, including eight at the NCAA level. Twenty-one of his grapplers went on to win NCCAA national titles. He, who also served four years as a defensive line coach for the football program, helped wrestling move from NCCAA to NCAA Division II, finishing fifth nationally during his final season as head coach in the Flames third year at the new level.
Brenda was a pioneer for women's athletics at then Liberty Baptist College when she arrived in Lynchburg in 1973 and championed women's athletics during her 26 year association with the athletics department.
Brenda helped start the women's basketball (1975-76) and volleyball (1976) programs, serving as both program's inaugural head coach. She also was Liberty's first-ever Senior Woman Administrator, serving in the administrative position from 1977 until she retired from athletics in 2000.
Brenda, along with Dr. Linda Farver (women's basketball coach from 1977-86), helped initiate Liberty's membership into the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), where Liberty's women's programs competed until the entire athletics department made the transition to full Division I status in 1988.