Five former Flames — representing football, men’s basketball, women’s soccer, volleyball, and athletics administration — were introduced as the newest members of the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame for 2013.
The fifth annual class was officially inducted on Sept. 13 at a special ceremony in the Williams Stadium Club Pavilion, and are now enshrined in the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame located in the Vines Center. They were honored at halftime during Liberty University’s home football game against Morgan State, Sept. 14.
Established in 2009, Liberty’s Hall of Fame now has 27 members, each of whom have made major contributions to the ever-growing NCAA Division I program.
Liberty’s first dominant Division I volleyball player, Oyedele helped lead the Lady Flames to their first two Big South Conference titles and automatic NCAA Tournament bids in 1997 and 1999.
The native of Lagos, Nigeria, is still the only player in program history to amass more than 2,000 kills, finishing her four-year career with 2,024. She is also one of only two players to have her jersey retired, joining fellow Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame member Theresa Bream.
Just the fifth Liberty Athletics representative to be inducted into the Big South Hall of Fame (during a ceremony in May), Oyedele is the only player in team history to earn Big South All-Conference honors for volleyball for four consecutive years, including 1999, when she capped her career as the BSC Player of the Year.
Justino, a native of Green Cove Spring, Fla., led the Flames to the program’s first-ever victory over an FBS opponent, helping Liberty upset host Eastern Michigan, 25-24, on Oct. 21, 1989, in his first career start.
During his four years at Liberty, Justino set the standard for all Flames quarterbacks to follow. His 9,548 passing yards top the next player on the career list by more than 2,000. He also finished his career as Liberty’s all-time leader in career completions (769), attempts (1,267), passing touchdowns (64), total offensive yards (8,806), plays (1,469), and total touchdowns (66).
Liberty’s women’s soccer team posted a 2-30 record in Big South play in the six seasons before White arrived from Modesto, Calif. The four-time Big South All-Conference team member enabled the Lady Flames to capture their first two Big South crowns in 2000 and 2001.
White’s career numbers far surpass any other player in program history with 106 points and 43 goals scored. She was a three-time Big South all-tournament team selection, the 2000 Big South Championship MVP, and the Big South Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2001.
Alston helped facilitate the men’s basketball program’s transition to NCAA Division I after playing one season at the Division II level, when he was honored as the 1988 Mason-Dixon Player of the Year.
He is one of only three players in program history to score 2,000 career points (2,115), doing so in just three seasons at Liberty. Alston trails only Karl Hess (2,373), a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class, and 2007 graduate Larry Blair (2,211) on the all-time scoring list and holds the program’s career mark for scoring average (25.5 points over a span of 83 games), including a record three 40-point games.
A pioneer for women’s athletics when she arrived in Lynchburg in 1974, Bonheim championed the cause during her 26-year association with Liberty’s athletics department. She is the wife of former wrestling and football coach Bob Bonheim, a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Bonheim helped start the women’s basketball (1975-76) and volleyball (1976) programs, serving as the head coach for both. She was also Liberty Athletics’ first senior woman administrator, serving in that role from 1977 until she retired in 2000.
Bonheim, along with Dr. Linda Farver (women’s basketball coach from 1977-86), helped bring Liberty into the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), where the Lady Flames competed until the entire athletics department shifted to full NCAA Division I status in 1988.