Fiesta Bowl representatives visit Liberty in preparation for New Year’s Six game
As Liberty football prepares for its most significant game in program history, the Fiesta Bowl is also arranging to welcome the Conference USA Champions to the Valley of the Sun.
Members of the Fiesta Bowl, also known as the “Yellow Jackets” arrived in Lynchburg Dec. 8 to officially tour Liberty’s campus and football facilities and speak to media in preparation for this year’s Fiesta Bowl.
“I can’t express how excited we are to have Liberty come join us in our bowl game,” Randle House, the designated liaison between Liberty and the Fiesta Bowl said. “I’m sure you guys are familiar with the Fiesta Bowl and its history, and we’ve had some pretty exciting games with Group of Five participants. We’re going to see nothing less this year from Liberty versus Oregon.”
After a 13-0, championship-caliber season, the Flames did nothing but impress in their first year under the direction of Head Coach Jamey Chadwell. The rapid dominance under Chadwell was one of the many elements of Liberty that caught the Fiesta Bowl’s eye.
“(It is) just amazing what they’ve been able to do in such a short amount of time,” House said. “How Liberty has just climbed up the ranks and done so many good things from a football perspective, and then learning more about the school and the online presence and how many students actually the student body has.”
With its first New Year’s Six bid in program history, it’s evident that the experience of playing in the Fiesta Bowl will be unlike anything Liberty has seen before. The Flames will touch down in Phoenix on Wednesday, Dec. 27, four days prior to kickoff.
“We try to make it the best experience for the student-athletes as possible,” House said. “When you touch down or when they touch down at Sky Harbor Airport, they’re going to be welcomed by a Yellow Jacket Committee. They’re going to be welcomed by a Mariachi band and just have that sense of Arizona and where they are. Then, they’re going to be bussed to a world-class resort that’s going to treat them like royalty, like who they are, what they deserve.”
And while Liberty will get top-of-the-line treatment from the Fiesta Bowl and its Yellow Jacket Committee, the sheer presence of the Flames in a New Year’s Six Bowl will grant the program a kind of exposure it has never seen before. Facing off against an Oregon team with a future NFL talent in Bo Nix — who is expected to suit up for the game — will be a lofty task, but the chance for greatness abounds.
“It’s a great opportunity because, on this platform, we will get to show the world what training Champions for Christ is all about,” Liberty University President Dondi Costin said. “Thanks especially to our football coach, to (Jamey) Chadwell, to his staff, the coaching staff, but also the support staff, the academic staff, all those who work behind the scenes to make sure that student-athletes have the kind experience that they get to have at Liberty University.”
Liberty will take the field against the Oregon Ducks on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. EST, with the broadcast airing on ESPN.
Cory is the sports editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on X