Royals Rise

November 2, 2021 0 comments

Regent Is Primed to Take Athletics to a New Level

While Regent University’s athletic program launched five years ago with only a track and field team, it comes roaring into the 2021-22 season with 11 men’s and women’s teams, a new logo and a fight song.

Under the direction of Dr. Samuel Botta, director of the Athletic Department at Regent since 2018, the Regent Royals now compete in men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, outdoor track and field, and soccer, and women’s volleyball.

“Winning with Character,” the title of Dr. Botta’s doctoral dissertation, is the program’s philosophical basis, which aims to develop strong Christian leaders—both on and off the court.

He explained that his winning with character philosophy was derived after interviewing many long-term winning coaches, including the renowned collegiate basketball coach John Wooden. He found they shared one distinctive characteristic.

“They loved their players beyond what they could produce for them in the athletic arena. They loved them as people, and so the entire dissertation became built on 1 Corinthians 13, about how those definitions of love play out in athletics and what that ends up doing for scholar-athletes and teams,” said Botta.

A female athlete wearing Regent Royals gear prepares to launch a javelin on Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach.

Adding, “The important thing was that they cared about them as people first, and the scoreboard became the byproduct of that character, so thus, winning with character became the tagline for experienced success in every level of athletics, but most importantly in the development of young men and women.”    

Botta also expressed confidence that Regent’s coaches are more than up to the task to help the athletes develop that character as they guide them to excellence in their sports.

“I’m very happy and excited about the group of coaches that we have leading our scholar-athletes. They are great role models, they’re knowledgeable in their sports, and they’re all on the cusp to take our athletic program and their teams to the next level this year,” said Botta.

One off-of-the-field success that Regent athletes can take advantage of and that Dr. Botta hopes will grow is PSALM, an athletic ministry that stands for Peer Student-Athlete Leadership & Mentorship program. Administered in partnership with Campus Ministries, PSALM is based on Acts 1:8, in which Jesus charges the disciples to bear witness in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.

Based on the verse, he explained that PSALM sees Jerusalem as the scholar-athlete population, Judea as the Regent University community, and Samaria as Hampton Roads.

A student athlete donning Regent University gear smiles as he sits in front of a laptop.

“The outermost is when they graduate from Regent, and God moves them into that next chapter, and they are on fire full-throttle disciples of Jesus who are changing this world for Him. So, we’re very excited about Psalm,” Botta said. “We’ve had several scholar-athletes who have accepted Jesus and others who are growing strongly in their relationship with God and are making good life-changing decisions.”

In the long-term, Dr. Botta envisions more postseason competition for the Regent Royals and sees the program growing to serve other organizations.

“I would love for Regent to be a role model and provide training for other athletic programs, from youth up to the professional level, where it would be a Winning with Character Institute based on biblical principles for success,” said Botta.

“Our athletic program is going to be something that is really special, that people are going to take notice of and say, ‘There’s something special about Regent athletics and those scholar-athletes,’” explained Botta. “There’s a lot of exciting things ahead.”

The official rollout of the new logo for the Regent Royals and a fight song are among those things. A mascot is currently in development and will be introduced next year.

The Regent University fight song titled Whom Shall We Fear? Lyrics: We will fight the good fight, trust in His defenseWe will finish the race, proclaim His excellenceWe will keep the faith, and show the WayRegent! Royals! Whom shall we fear? R-E-G-E-N-T Roy-als! We are proud that He, calls us to beRegent! Royals! Whom shall we fear?

Glenn Geisendorfer, Regent’s creative director, created the logo for the Regent Royals so that it would blend in seamlessly with the university’s backstory. Just as the Georgian architecture of the university makes it seem as though it’s been in existence since the Colonial era, he strived to bring a similar sense of history to the logo. 

“Regent University was designed to look as if it’s already centuries old and to last for further centuries,” Geisendorfer said. “So, any branding that we do should rise to that occasion. Our athletics logo should be as comfortable etched on one of our buildings as it would be printed on a banner.” 

The logo went through many iterations before selecting one with a lion wearing the Royal Order sash and carrying the cross-topped standard. Though lions are commonplace in college sports, they are typically represented as ferocious—bearing fangs and claws. “Rarely are they rendered as if they came directly off of a heraldic shield, nobly leading ‘troops’ into battle,” Geisendorfer said.

Geisendorfer felt music was a leading element, too, so he initiated the development of a fight song similarly distinct. He worked with Dr. Botta and Claire Foster, executive vice president for Enrollment Services, to find a scriptural basis for the lyrics. They landed on 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

A blue Regent Royals flag waves at a stadium.

With a bar of music in his head, Geisendorfer turned to his brother-in-law, Dr. Mark C. Samples, a professor of musicology in the state of Washington, to help flesh it out. The result, Whom Shall We Fear? has a rousing melody backed by strong percussion that is unmistakably a fight song—but with lyrics rooted in hope and faith in the Lord.

Equipped with their new fight song and refreshed logo, our Royals are ready to charge into the 2021-22 season and bring the light of Christ into the world of collegiate sports.

“Winning is a byproduct of what we do and how we do it with our character. We desire to develop Christian leaders who are going to change the collegiate athletic world,” said Dr. Botta.

Visit to learn more about the Regent Royals and how you can support our scholar-athletes.

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