Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Brenda Bonheim passed away on Monday.
Liberty athletics mourns the loss of Brenda Bonheim, a pioneer for the program's women's athletics success, who passed away on Monday, Sept. 14 at the age of 81.
Bonheim was inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 for championing women's athletics during her 26-year association with the athletics department.
She helped start the women's basketball (1975-76) and volleyball (1976) programs, serving as both programs' 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.
Bonheim, 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.
She posted a 78-56 record as head coach of the volleyball program, including 20-win seasons in 1979 (26-11) and 1980 (22-18). Defeating Virginia twice during the 1979 season was a major highlight, as the Flames' next win over the Cavaliers came in 2014.
Bonheim earned a .750 (15-5) winning percentage as head coach during the first two seasons of women's basketball program history. The Lady Flames went 7-1 during their inaugural campaign before going 8-4 during 1976-77.
Bonheim and her husband, Bob Bonheim, are both enshrined in the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame. Bob was a member of the inaugural Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame Class in 2009, honoring his efforts as an assistant football coach and head wrestling coach. The couple remained supporters of Liberty Athletics following retirement.