Former Flames' standout running back Chip Smith, a 2010 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame class member, was recently featured on the LFSN Game On show.
Smith quickly helped jumpstart Liberty's athletics program as the department's first-ever athletics standout when the football program first hit the gridiron in 1973.
Smith was Liberty's first scholarship football recipient and was the first Flame to cross the goal line during Liberty's inaugural game against Massanutten Military on Sept. 27, 1973. Adding to his list of "firsts," Smith was the program's first-ever team captain, MVP, leading rusher, scoring leader and letterwinner, garnering those honors all four years he donned a Liberty uniform (1973-76).
Because Liberty did not start playing a full varsity schedule until the 1976 season, several of Smith's notable performances are not officially included in Liberty's record book, as the NCAA does not recognize statistics against junior varsity and prep school opponents.
Had all of Smith's games officially counted, the standout would have amassed 15 100-yard rushing performances, 208 career points, 33 rushing touchdowns, 3,342 career rushing yards and averaged 101.3 rushing yards per game.
All of these figures would rank in the Flames' Top 5 in each statistical category. He still holds the program mark for the longest touchdown run (86 yards) and highest average rushing yards per carry in a game (19.8), with both records coming against Ferrum on Nov. 13, 1976, his final career outing.
Besides his gridiron accomplishments, Smith also holds the distinction of being Liberty's first team captain for the baseball program. He also led the program with a .454 batting average and was a four-year letterwinner (1973-76).
Smith continues to flourish in the sport that made him a Liberty star. He is currently the owner and founder of Competitive Edge Sports (CES). The organization, based in Duluth, Ga., is widely recognized as one of the world's elite sports performance training centers.
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