Vincent Wins 2021 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award
Kieran Vincent, a redshirt junior on the Liberty men's golf team, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award.
In 1974, the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award was established to honor the top senior student-athlete at Liberty University who best exemplifies the standards and lives of both of these great Christian men.
Rock Royer was Liberty's first football coach in 1973. Mac Rivera was a member of Liberty's men's basketball team from 1972 until 1975. Both Rock Royer and Mac Rivera tragically died at a young age, with Royer dying in a plane crash and Rivera passing away after a fall.
This award encompasses more than just athletic ability. It recognizes the Liberty University graduating senior student-athlete who has maintained an exemplary testimony on the playing field, in the classroom and among the student body.
The award is typically announced at Liberty Athletics' annual FLAMESPY Award show selection at the end of the spring semester. However, due to the COVID-19 virus, Liberty Athletics was unable to host a physical celebration of the 2020-21 athletic season with its student-athletes this year.
"Kieran chose Liberty for all the right reasons and decided to come to Liberty over many other Power 5 options. During his time at Liberty, Kieran has had many trying times and injuries. He fought through those injuries with a positive attitude and has become one of the top NCAA Division I golfers in the country," stated Liberty Head Men's Golf Coach Jeff Thomas. "Kieran loves the Lord and is always looking out for other people, and I can't think of a better example of a representation of what we want out of a Liberty student-athlete."
"Kieran is a leader and started a Bible study for the players this past year," continues Thomas. "He continues to push himself in his relationship with Christ. His results on the course stand for themselves. He is having the best results of anyone in Liberty men's golf team history, continues to work hard and continues to grow each week on and off the course."
Vincent is one of the most accomplished golfers in program history and was ranked as high as No. 6 individually in the country by Golfstat during the 2021 spring season.
The native of Harare, Zimbabwe, was named to the 2021 Fred Haskins Award Watch List (top collegiate golfer in the country), becoming the first player in program history to be named to this award's annual watch list.
Vincent is a three-time all-conference honoree (2019, 2020 and 2021) and was named a GCAA/PING All-American and GCAA/All-America Scholar in 2020.
The redshirt junior has posted 20 career top-10 finishes since joining the Flames golf program in 2016 and holds a 71.79 career stroke average. He has played 49.6 percent of his career rounds at par or better (60-of-121).
Vincent has been part of three teams who advanced to NCAA Regional play (2017, 2019 and 2021) and has helped the Flames to back-to-back appearances at the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship (2019 and 2021 – no national championship in 2020 due to COVID-19).
Vincent completed his undergraduate degree in Business Administration: International Business with a 3.03 GPA in December 2019. He will complete his master's degree in Exercise Science and Wellness: Fitness Specialist in December 2021.
Outside of his success on the golf course and in the classroom, Vincent has spent many hours helping with community service projects. During his time at Liberty, he aided with the Share the Warmth, Spooktacular, Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat, Attitude of Gratitude and A Dollar Makes a Difference community service programs.
"The Rock Royer and Mac Rivera award is one award that I was not very familiar with until I became a senior. Since my research, I have come to realize just how prestigious this award really is and just how much of an honor it is to be selected," commented Vincent.
"The countless names who have won this award in the past are true members of what this award and Liberty both stand for, and to have the ability of my name edged in history alongside some of the names would make my five years at Liberty truly unique."
"Just as traveling thousands of miles to obtain an opportunity to play and compete at the highest level, I have been shaped and molded uniquely into the person I am today because of the people I have encountered over my time whilst I have been at Liberty.
"From coaches, professors, academic advisors, teammates, roommates, right through to just plain brothers and sisters in Christ, I have not only enjoyed my time with each and every one of you but also have each of you to thank. I truly believe my time here has equipped me with the necessary tools to go forward and train others to be champions for Christ, and I am so looking forward to doing just that because of the investment which was input to me."
Vincent is the second Liberty men's golfer to win the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, joining Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame member Todd Setsma, who was the award recipient in 1995.
Vincent is the 54th overall recipient of this distinguished award, and this is the 48th year Liberty Athletics has presented its top athletics honor to a well-deserving senior student-athlete.
Rock Royer Award
1974 – Rick Herceg – Football
1975 – Sling Patterson – Football
1976 – David Neff – Football
1977 – Scott Goetz – Football
Mac Rivera Award
1977 – Paul Dalton – Men's Basketball
Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award
1978 – Gary Avila – Wrestling
1979 – Dave Anderson – Football
1980 – Karl Hess – Men's Basketball
1981 – David "D.J." Hertzler – Football
1982 – Sharon Snodgrass – Women's Basketball
1983 – Bill Gillespie – Football/Men's Track & Field
1984 – Rick Seilhamer – Wrestling
1985 – Sue Andrew – Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
1985 – Dave Bream – Baseball
1986 – Ron Stamer – Men's Soccer
1987 – Pam Wilder – Women's Basketball
1988 – Annie Hunt Fairchild – Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
1988 – Andre Sims – Football
1989 – Kathy Guetterman – Volleyball
1990 – Lynn Attwood – Women's Cross Country/Track & Field/Women's Basketball
1991 – Craig Holiday – Wrestling
1992 – Mike Coleman – Men's Basketball
1993 – Theresa Bream – Volleyball/Women's Basketball
1994 – James Downey – Football
1994 – Matt Hildebrand – Men's Basketball
1995 – Todd Setsma – Men's Golf
1996 – Ryan Werner – Men's Track & Field
1997 – Michael Prettyman – Men's Track & Field
1998 – Ben Anderson – Football
1999 – Jarrod Everson – Football
2000 – Elena Kisseleva – Women's Basketball
2001 – Andrea Wildrick – Women's Track & Field
2001 – Nathan Day – Men's Basketball
2002 – Heather Sagan – Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
2003 – Collin Mascagni – Men's Soccer
2004 – Tatiana Tkachuk – Volleyball
2005 – Sam Gado – Football
2006 – Sonia Rodriguez – Women's Soccer
2006 – Phillip Thompson – Baseball
2007 – Arlene Zelinskas – Women's Track & Field
2008 – Allyson Fasnacht – Women's Basketball
2009 – Beth Bennett – Softball
2010 – Chris Rocco – Football
2011 – Zach Duke – Football
2012 – Jesse Sanders – Men's Basketball
2013 – Jennifer Klugh – Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
2014 – Trey Lambert – Baseball
2015 – Alex Close – Baseball
2016 – Ashley Rininger – Women's Basketball
2017 – Holly Van Noord – Women's Soccer
2018 – Evangeline Crist – Women's Tennis
2019 – Alicia Finnigan – Women's Swimming & Diving
2020 – Hannah Baker – Women's Swimming & Diving
2021 – Kieran Vincent, Men's Golf