Former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw was hired to the same position at Liberty on Monday.
None of the senior athletic department officials were aware that McCaw had been hired until he walked through the door of his introductory news conference, a source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy.
"My vision for Liberty is to position it as a pre-eminent Christian athletic program in America and garner the same type of appeal among the Christian community as Notre Dame achieves among the Catholic community and BYU garners from the Mormons," McCaw said in a statement.
McCaw resigned at Baylor on May 30, four days after the university sanctioned him and placed him on probation. Baylor officials also suspended and then fired football coach Art Briles and demoted president Kenneth Starr, who later resigned as Baylor's chancellor and retired as a law school professor. McCaw's resignation at Baylor was in response to scathing findings by the law firm Pepper Hamilton, which had been hired to investigate the school's handling of allegations of sexual assaults by students, including many football players.
The Liberty news release announcing McCaw's hiring touted the five national championships and 58 Big 12 titles Baylor won in his tenure. Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. said McCaw's experience made him the right candidate for the job.
"Ian's success really speaks for itself," Falwell said in a statement. "You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure. It fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us."
McCaw replaces Jeff Barber, who resigned abruptly on Nov. 18.
McCaw, who had served as Baylor's athletics director since 2003, is at the center of an ongoing dispute between Briles' assistant coaches and the university's Board of Regents. In a news release earlier this month, Baylor's regents revealed that a female athlete told a former volleyball coach that she had been sexually assaulted by five football players approximately one year earlier. The regents said the woman provided the football players' names to her coach.
According to the release, the volleyball coach immediately reported the assault to McCaw, Briles and a former assistant athletics director. According to the regents, none of them reported the alleged incident to Baylor's judicial affairs office or anyone outside of athletics.
Baylor's assistant football coaches, including Briles' son, Kendal, and son-in-law, Jeff Lebby, disputed the allegations in a statement released on Twitter. According to the assistant football coaches' statement, McCaw instructed the head coach to report the incident to Baylor's office of judicial affairs, which the coach did. The assistant coaches claimed Briles wasn't made aware of the incident until nine months after it allegedly occurred.
According to the assistant coaches' statement, the volleyball coach informed Briles that he reported the incident to McCaw and judicial affairs. The statement said, "Briles told [the victim's coach] to report it to the police and prosecute the players if there was any wrongdoing."
McCaw hasn't responded to multiple telephone calls and texts from ESPN.
Liberty's 2017 football season will open at Baylor.
ESPN's Mark Schlabach and The Associated Press contributed to this report.