California Native Ryan Hiepler Transfers Closer to Home

Hiepler, Ryan
Ryan Hiepler (44) will transfer closer to home following his graduation from Liberty University, as he committed to the Dominican University of California Penguins. (Source: Liberty Athletics) (Header: Dominican University of California)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — The only player from the West Coast in the entire Big South Conference is heading closer to home.

Guard Ryan Hiepler was the only player on any roster in the Big South Conference to hail from the West Coast. The native of Camarillo, CA was a redshirt for the Liberty Flames last season after playing sparingly over his first two seasons with the team.

To put things into perspective for those who don’t quite know where Camarillo is, myself included, Lynchburg, VA is a mere 2,540 miles away from Hiepler’s hometown. It’s the true definition of a cross-country trek.

After red-shirting this past season, Hiepler opted to transfer from the program following his graduation. After going through the recruiting process once more, Hiepler committed to a school that was much closer to his hometown.

The graduate transfer committed to the Dominican University Penguins on Wednesday, who are members of the PacWest Conference (Division II).

San Rafael and Camarillo are separated by 383 miles, which is a stone throw away in comparison to the distance to Lynchburg, VA.

Over his career with the Flames, Hiepler recorded 323 minutes of game time, with 261 of those minutes coming in 2015-16 when he was a freshman at Liberty. That season, he averaged a point per game and shot 42.9% (6-of-14) from the floor.

Hiepler recorded 33 points over his two seasons of play at Liberty.

During his freshman season, Hiepler posted three games with five points, which was his career high. He put up five points and three assists in a loss to the Lamar Cardinals back on December 12th, 2015, which was the second of back-to-back five-point outings for the 6’0” guard.

Hiepler joins a Penguins team that is coming off a season that saw them go just 5-22 overall, and 4-16 in PacWest Conference play. They lost nine straight contests to end the season. Hiepler will look to add some experience and veteran leadership to the roster, while also playing significant minutes from the outset.

Since he was a redshirt last season, Hiepler joins the Penguins with two years of eligibility remaining as he pursues his MBA.

– T. Bennett