Liberty News

Chris Rocco receives Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award

April 30, 2010 : Sarah Funderburke

Athletics Director Jeff Barber presents the 2010 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award to Chris Rocco, along with Theresa Rivera, niece of Mac Rivera, during the April 30 convocation.

Liberty University senior Chris Rocco received the 2010 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award during Friday’s convocation, recognizing his accomplishments on the football field, in the classroom and in Christian service.

Although training for and playing NCAA Division I football takes up an enormous amount of a student-athlete’s time, Rocco has a 3.95 GPA and is a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the football team’s Gridiron Bible Study. He also volunteers as a strength and conditioning coach for Liberty Christian Academy’s football team, of which he is an alumnus.

“I don’t know if it’s possible to find anyone more deserving of this award than Chris Rocco,” said Jeff Barber, Liberty’s athletics director. “He’s a three-year starter on our football team, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in those three years he started we won back-to-back-to-back championships.”

Rocco was named to ESPN Magazine’s All-American Academic Team in the fall of 2009, the 2009 Big South All-Academic Team as well as the 2010 Division I FCS Athletic Directors Association All-Star Team. He finished his football career as Liberty’s active leader in tackling (163), pass break-ups (11) and recovered fumbles (5). Rocco plans to graduate in May with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Creation Studies.

  • The Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award is given every year to one Liberty University senior athlete who has demonstrated dedication and excellence in the classroom, within their sport and in Christian service. The award was established in 1975 and is named for Rock Royer, Liberty’s first football coach who died on a recruiting trip, and Mac Rivera, a member of the men’s basketball team who died in 1975. View a list of previous award winners at

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