Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame names six new members in 2020 class
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 will include representatives from baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s track & field, men’s soccer and women’s track & field.
The six-member class, the 12th to be inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, will be honored during special ceremonies surrounding Liberty’s Homecoming Weekend football game against Louisiana – Monroe on Oct. 10 at Williams Stadium.
The six-member class includes Larry Blair (men’s basketball), Henry Elliott (men’s track & field), Andrea [Wildrick] Hampson (women’s track & field), Morgan Hout (football head coach), Samuel Johnson (men’s soccer) and Jeff Mincey (baseball).
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Oct. 9 at the Alumni Ballroom on the third floor of the Montview Student Union.
Additionally, the six-member class will receive special recognition during the Louisiana-Monroe contest the evening following the ceremony.
The Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates the best of the best, honoring those who helped shape the face of Liberty Athletics. The Hall of Fame’s now 63 members have each played a key role in helping Liberty grow from an NCCAA program in 1972 to its current status as a thriving NCAA Division I program.
Men’s Basketball: 2004-07
Larry Blair remains one of the most prolific all-time scorers in program history and ranks second only to Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural class member Karl Hess.
Blair finished his distinguished career on Liberty Mountain with 2,211 career points scored and is tied for the program’s all-time lead with Hess with 43 career 20-point games.
Blair burst onto the scene as a freshman and was named the 2004 Big South Freshman of the Year. He led the Flames in scoring during the 2004 Big South Men’s Basketball Championship title game with 29 points, guiding the program to an NCAA Tournament berth for the second time in school history.
The native of Charlotte, N.C. is the only player in program history to earn All-Big South honors all four years of his playing career (2004 – second team; 2005-06-07 – first team). He was also a two-time VaSID all-state selection and named to the 2007 CollegeInsider.com Preseason Mid-Major All-America team.
Following his days in a Liberty uniform, Blair went on to play six seasons of professional basketball in Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Lebanon and Qatar.
Men’s Track & Field: 1987-89
Henry Elliott made the most of his three-year career with the Flames after transferring to Liberty from Campbell following his freshman season.
Elliott was a two-time All-American in different disciplines, first earning NCAA Division II All-America honors in 1987 in the discus with a fourth-place finish. Two years later, he became Liberty’s first-ever NCAA Division I Men’s All-American with a seventh-place finish in the decathlon at the national championship in 1989. He also was the Penn Relays champion in the decathlon as a senior in 1989.
Elliott helped cap Liberty’s dominance in the Mason-Dixon Conference during the program’s final days at the NCAA Division II level. Liberty captured the Mason-Dixon Conference Indoor Track Championship titles all three years he was a member of the team in 1987, 1988 and 1989, while securing Mason-Dixon Conference Outdoor Track Championship titles as a junior and senior in 1988 and 1989.
The native of Spivey’s Corner, N.C., made the team’s 100-Point Club all three years of his career with the Flames and still ranks in the program’s top 10 of six different events more than three decades after graduation.
Andrea (Wildrick) Hampson
Women’s Track & Field: 1999-02
Andrea (Wildrick) Hampson owns more NCAA Division I All-America honors than any other female student-athlete in the storied history of the Liberty track & field program.
Hampson became the program’s first-ever female competitor to win All-America honors at the NCAA Division I level in 2000 with a ninth-place finish at the outdoor national championship in the pole vault. She also earned All-America honors in the same discipline in 2002 at the NCAA National Indoor Track Championship (tied for fourth place) and Outdoor Track Championship (second place). Since her graduation in 2002, no other Lady Flame track & field athlete has come within a foot of breaking her indoor and outdoor pole vaulting records.
The native of Mechanicsville, Va., was a three-time member of Liberty’s 100-point club and joins fellow Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame honoree Heather (Sagan) Zealand as one of the program’s two female performers with top two finish at a Division I national championship.
Hampson was a five-time Big South and two-time ECAC pole vault champion. She helped Liberty sweep the titles at the Big South Indoor and Outdoor Championships all four years of her career and place 15th at both the 2002 NCAA Division I Indoor and Outdoor Track Championships as a senior.
Football Head Coach: 1984-88
Morgan Hout was a pioneer and the visionary head coach that guided Liberty’s football program through the transition from the NCAA Division II ranks into the Division I era.
Hout was at the helm of the football program from 1984-88, where he coached 11 All-Americans. He also helped recruit 11 Liberty football players who went on to play in the NFL, including the two highest NFL Draft selections in football program history.
Hout’s squads continually faced off against the toughest competition in the country. His 1984 team wrapped up the season with a 27-14 win over NAIA ranked No. 1 Carson-Newman, marking the first time in program history Liberty defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the country at any level.
The native of Marietta, Ga., guided Liberty to an 8-3 record during the program’s first year at the NCAA I-AA level in 1988, and finished the year ranked No. 18 in the country. He was duly honored for his efforts when he was named the 1988 VaSID Coach of the Year and the Bobby Ross Coach of the Year.
Jeff Mincey helped establish a standard of excellence for Liberty’s baseball program as the four-time team captain was a part of the inaugural team in 1974.
In just three short seasons, Mincey and his fellow teammates went from start-up program to reaching the 30-win mark for the first time in program history. Liberty posted a 31-10 record in 1976, finishing the season with a win over No. 17 ranked South Carolina. Mincey led the team that season with nine home runs, along with a .343 batting average and 21 RBI.
Mincey was the first-ever player in program history selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 21st round in 1976, but he elected to return to Liberty for his senior season.
The native of Concord, Calif., returned to his alma mater in 1980 and served on staff as an assistant coach for eight seasons (1980-87). He was Liberty’s first-ever full-time assistant coach, helping the Flames transition from the NAIA level to becoming Liberty’s first program to play at the NCAA Division I level in 1984. While on staff, Mincey helped Liberty make three consecutive trips to the NAIA World Series (1981-83) and post the program’s first-ever 40-win season in 1983 (40-17).
Men’s Soccer: 1984-86
Samuel Johnson is one of the most decorated players in men’s soccer history, joining fellow Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame selection Paul Annan as the program’s only other two-time All-American.
Johnson was the second men’s soccer player to earn All-America honors, doing so at the NCAA Division II level in 1985 and 1986. He was also named to the Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association first team three times (1984-86) and was a two-time selection to the NSCAA South Atlantic All-Region squad (1985-86).
As a defender, Johnson led the Flames in scoring during the 1985 campaign, netting 10 goals while adding two assists to tally 22 points as a junior. Liberty finished the 1985 season with a 14-2-3 record and advanced to the semifinals of the Virginia State Intercollegiate Tournament. Liberty’s 14 victories is tied for the program record for victories in a season.
The Ghana native helped Liberty post 27 shutouts during his three seasons on the pitch with the Flames. Liberty recorded 12 shutouts in 1985, setting a new program record that has only been matched by the 2009 team. Liberty allowed 11 goals in 1985, the third fewest in a season in program history.