Lenoir Rhyne University Division

Lenoir Rhyne University Division


Lenoir Rhyne University Division is a small private Christian college situated in suburban settings with an enrollment of 1,719 undergraduate students.

The school offers a range of academic programs, such as nursing, kinesiology and exercise science, sport and fitness management. Furthermore, it has an Engaged Scholars Program and Honors Academy.


Lenoir Rhyne University, a premier liberal arts institution located in Hickory, North Carolina, offers over 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs. Its curriculum encourages the holistic development of each person by liberating mind and spirit, clarifying personal faith, encouraging physical well-being, building community relationships and cultivating responsible leadership for service to the world.

Lenoir Rhyne University boasts a student to faculty ratio of 17:1, giving students the chance to form relationships with their professors through group projects in small classes. In addition to traditional academic settings, there are plenty of chances for research and independent study within the college.

At LR, undergraduate and graduate programs are tailored to foster an enthusiasm for inquiry, promote discovery and develop critical thinking abilities. In addition to offering a diverse selection of majors, LR also provides students with exciting internships, study abroad experiences and community-based research projects.

As a Christian institution, LR is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and offers undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities for both men and women at its three campus locations: Hickory, Asheville and Columbia.

Academics at LR emphasize the integration of theory and practice to help each student reach their full potential. Through an array of stimulating, demanding courses, students gain exposure to cutting-edge scholarship in their fields.

Courses are taught by full-time and part-time faculty with advanced degrees in their fields, dedicated to ensuring students receive the highest quality education.

At LR, nursing and kinesiology and exercise science are the most sought-after majors. These programs give students hands-on experience while teaching them what it means to work in a field they are passionate about.

As a student, you have the unique opportunity to join one of several clubs and organizations on campus such as choir, band, drama or the campus newspaper. Plus you can take part in sports like volleyball or track & field!

Lenoir Rhyne University boasts 20 varsity sports and competes in the South Atlantic Conference as an NCAA Division II school. The college boasts a large number of talented athletes as well as an enthusiastic fan base that supports many teams across different sports.

Student Life

Lenoir Rhyne university division offers students a supportive community with numerous activities and events. Their vision is to foster an atmosphere on campus that fosters inclusivity, encourages active participation and nurtures responsible citizenship.

Faculty and staff here are passionate about students, going above and beyond to ensure they get the most out of their time here. Professors are knowledgeable in their subjects and eager to assist their students in reaching their full potential - making college an experience you won't soon forget!

As an LR student, you have access to more than 70 clubs and organizations that promote leadership development, foster responsibility and accountability, as well as provide active service to the world. Through these activities, students have the chance to meet new people and form lasting friendships that will last a lifetime.

At LR, students have the unique opportunity to partake in Greek life. There are four Sororities and two Fraternities on campus that promote sisterhood, leadership development and philanthropy.

They offer a range of events and activities for students to get involved in, such as Homecoming, the Red Carpet Event and Final Flip (exam pancake breakfast). These are excellent opportunities to socialize with other students and get involved on campus.

LR is situated in a vibrant area of Hickory, NC that provides plenty of activities and nightlife options. Whether you're in the mood for shopping, watching a movie, or cheering on our local minor league baseball team - there's something here for everyone.

LR is a secure campus with 24-hour security and police patrols. Students are given emergency telephones and alarms to use in case of emergency, plus late-night transportation and safety escorts are available if needed.


Lenoir-Rhyne University Division is a small campus that offers an array of athletic programs. Varsity sports offered include basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and tennis as well as track and field (indoor/outdoor) events.

The Bears are proud members of the South Atlantic Conference, having earned more than 100 victories since 1989 and seeing numerous teams reach the NCAA playoffs.

At Hickory College in North Carolina, there are 20 intercollegiate varsity sports available and each is led by its own head coach. Men's and women's basketball programs are the most popular options, followed by softball.

In the 2019-20 academic year, Lenoir-Rhyne university had 661 students involved in varsity sports. Of these, 428 were males and 233 were females.

Kim Pate, the head of athletics at LR, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of their program. In addition to that, she manages both their budget and strategic initiatives.

In recent years, the athletic department has made some major upgrades. Notable examples include a $3.25M athletic facility, Bears Club Pavilion and outdoor track. Furthermore, Shuford Gymnasium, Moretz Stadium and indoor practice gym were renovated significantly on campus as part of this transformation program.

No question, LR athletics has some of the finest facilities in North Carolina. Their new facility is one of its kind in the area and features a cutting-edge weight room, multipurpose training space and other high-tech features. Furthermore, LR has launched the Bears Leadership Academy to further foster student-athlete development and community service activities.


Lenoir-Rhyne University Division offers career-oriented programs that prepare students for various positions. Its academic departments are located within the colleges of arts & sciences, health sciences, education and professional & mathematic studies. With a low student-to-faculty ratio of 4:1, this school ensures small class sizes and strong working relationships between professors and their students.

The university's public health degree program is designed to give students the knowledge and abilities needed to foster a healthier society through education, research and service. Students can choose from an array of interdisciplinary courses such as social work, environmental science, biology or other topics.

Students with an MPH can pursue careers as educators, social workers, researchers, laboratory scientists, nursing professionals or others in health care-related fields such as disease prevention. Their work often involves working in local, national and international settings.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a public health professional is having the chance to explore different parts of the world. LR's public health program, located on Hickory campus, provides fieldwork opportunities, internships, study abroad experiences, scholarships and other educational opportunities for its students.

Another excellent way to get involved at LR is by volunteering at the campus community center, which offers free meals and a range of activities for residents. It also boasts a fitness center, art gallery, and more.

Senior Bears is a unique group that connects seniors 55 and older to LR's academic and cultural offerings. Members receive an LR ID card, library access/check-out privileges, auditing of one undergraduate course each academic year, four meals in the dining hall, as well as discounts at several campus businesses.

Established in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a coeducational private liberal arts university that strives to develop the whole person and liberate mind and spirit, clarify personal faith, promote physical wellness and build community for responsible leadership. As an affiliate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, its campuses are located in Hickory, Asheville and Columbia, South Carolina.

The college's academic centers are committed to supporting students as they explore their vocation and purpose, offering online resources, discussions and hosting Lives Worth Living speaker series featuring renowned theologians, bishops, artists and advocates for justice. Furthermore, the center provides faculty support while they engage in their work of educating students and helping them become whole individuals ready for productive careers and meaningful lives.

Lenoir Rhyne University is a Powerhouse on the Gridiron and in the Classroom

Lenoir-Rhyne University boasts several championship-caliber intercollegiate athletic programs that compete at both the NCAA and South Atlantic Conference levels.

The football program at the college has been one of the most successful. It also keeps many alumni connected to their alma mater.

On Wednesday, Polk County senior Angus Weaver signed his national letter-of-intent to play for the Bears. He is one of 38 newcomers to the program.


Lenoir-Rhyne University's football program has a proud heritage that dates back to 1891. Over these many years, it has blossomed into one of North Carolina's premier programs and a fixture within the South Atlantic Conference.

The Bears have a proud legacy of excellence in the sport and continue to make progress as a unit with the addition of new coaching staff members. Head Coach Mike Jacobs and assistant coaches Michael Kellar, Brian Hill and David Cole boast an impressive wealth of experience within the game.

Prior to his tenure as head coach of Louisiana Tech in 2019, Jacobs spent four seasons as the head coach at Notre Dame College in Ohio. Prior to that he spent 11 years as Fairmont State University's offensive line and defensive coordinator.

Jacobs is eager to continue Lenoir-Rhyne's tradition of success and build upon last season's 10-1 campaign that earned them a place in the NCAA Division II National Championship. With this new role, Jacobs hopes to help LR maintain and build upon that success.

Jacobs is the 23rd head coach in LR's history and brings with him experience from previous stops at California University of Pennsylvania and Notre Dame College. Additionally, he has held assistant coaching roles at Purdue, Wilmington College and Eastern Michigan.

Jacobs is a great communicator for the Bears, taking pride in making players feel at ease on the field. In fact, one of Jacobs' favorite parts of his job is seeing each player's confidence and skill improve due to effective coaching.

Shawn Chaffee, a defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator, has been promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinator. Aaron Foster has also been renamed Co-Defensive Backs Coach while Dave Cole has been named Special Teams and Defensive Backs Coach.


Lenoir Rhyne University football program is a collegiate powerhouse on both the football field and in the classroom. They're among the top 10 teams in the South Atlantic Conference, boasting one of the longest winning streaks in college football history. Moretz Field, their home stadium, is one of the biggest in the region at 10,000 seats; alumni spread around the world like confetti. Beyond athletics, LR University stands out for its stellar academic records and vibrant campus culture which aim to motivate, educate and prepare its students for lifelong success within an encouraging community setting.


Lenoir-Rhyne University's football team is a member of the South Atlantic Conference and competes in NCAA Division II. They host their home games at Moretz Stadium in Hickory, North Carolina.

Last season, LR's offense finished in the top-10 nationally in several categories. Their 574 points scored broke their program record and helped the Bears finish with an 11-1 record and a trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship Game.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012, several players played a key role in the offense's success. Head coach John Reardon - who won back-to-back Jacobs Blocking Trophy awards during his first two years at Lincoln Riley - led the offensive line as it helped propel the Bears to four rushing titles.

Last season, Lenoir-Rhyne's running game was one of the most captivating aspects of their offense. Three players - including two first-team all-conference honorees - ran for over 2,000 yards and scored 20 career touchdowns.

After starting the season 0-6, the Bears went on a 12-game winning streak, scoring an impressive 574 points. They finished in the top 10 nationally in several categories such as rushing, points per game and sacks allowed.

Limestone forced the Bears into their first 3-and-out, but the Blue and Gold put together a strong drive that saw Noller use his legs to gain 16 yards on third down at midfield. Unfortunately, an interception by Devin Hibbitt halted the drive and put control back in Limestone's hands.

Limestone's next possession began with a slant pass from Noller to Stewart. The ball bounced around for several plays before being intercepted by Devin Hibbitt, giving the Saints new downs at the LU 24-yard line.


Lenoir-Rhyne University football's defense has been one of the best in South Atlantic Conference history and an example to all in NCAA Division II.

LR's defense has produced many impressive players over the years and they hope to continue their dominance this season. The Bears boast an impressive mix of young and experienced players on their front seven.

In 2021, Chaffee's defensive unit was led by DT Amari Houston who earned himself the title of SAC Defensive Player of the Year after recording 49 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with six QB hurries and two fumble recoveries. Fellow DT Dan Louba earned First Team All-Conference recognition with 62 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as well as four fumble recoveries.

Junior linebacker Guam Lee and sophomore defensive back Jonathan Nolan both saw their playing time increase in 2021, as both saw their careers take off. In only six games, Nolan recorded 110 total tackles including 17.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and an interception - a career-high total!

Meanwhile, junior defensive lineman Sha'haun Williams earned back-to-back All-American honors and a place on the SAC All-Conference squad after compiling 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Senior linebacker Davon Baker also made an impactful contribution with 13 tackles for loss and five sacks.

The Bears boast an elite secondary with some of the nation's top talent. Blake, Dugger and Green all earned All-Conference honoree status during their respective seasons and each had at least five picks throughout their career.

Special Teams

Special teams are an integral part of Lenoir-Rhyne football and their success. Based on how well they perform during the regular season, the Bears may qualify for postseason play or even make it to an NCAA Bowl Game.

At Longridge High School, special teams are coached by Aaron Brock (Defensive Ends Coach), Bob McClain (Offensive Coordinator and Run Game Coordinator) and Mike Lopez (Defense Coordinator and Linebackers Coach). All three have coaching experience at the college level but each brings something unique to the table.

Brock has extensive coaching experience at the collegiate level, having spent the past three seasons (2013-15) at California University of Pennsylvania as their Defensive Coordinator and leading them to a 23-9 record during his tenure. Prior to that, he spent 11 years at Fairmont State University (2002-12), serving as Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator for the Fighting Falcons.

The Bears have made their mark on both the South Atlantic Conference and FCS with four straight championships, three playoff berths, and a trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2013. From 2010-19 - which marked their most successful decade - they were nationally ranked for 54 weeks.

Kyle Dugger was named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week after his outstanding performance in last Saturday's 42-28 loss to Carson-Newman. His strong play has led to more tackles, passes broken up and forced fumbles this season; additionally he's scored on both punt returns and blocked punts this season - marking his third straight week being recognized as SAC's special teams player of the week.

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