Retiree Makes College Football Comeback

Thursday, August 23 2007 @ 01:15 pm UTC

For Mike Flynt, his 59th year was not just a year for planning retirement, it was also a time to go back to college and play ball. Mike was drinking beer and swapping stories with some old football buddies a few months ago when he talked about the biggest regret he had of his life: Getting kicked off the college team before his senior year. One of his pals joked, “why not do something about it?; and so he did. While most of his 59-year-old pals laughed, Flynt's main concern was if he was still eligible for college football. And when he found out he was, Flynt went back to Sul Ross State this month, around 37 years after he left school and six years before he goes on retirement. His comeback peaked on Wednesday when the coach said he made the Division III team's roster. He could be in action as early as Sept. 1.

For students at Sul Ross State, Flynt is giving new meaning to being a college senior. He is after all, a grandfather and a card-carrying member of AARP. He is eight years older than his coach and has two kids older than most of his teammates.

Flynt's life was thought, or expected to be slowing down this fall. With his youngest child starting at the University of Tennessee, he and Eileen, his wife of 35 years, are planning to take advantage of being empty-nesters for the first time. What happened next instead was they moved to this remote patch of West Texas so Flynt can mend an old wound and, hopefully, inspire others.

He became emotional discussing his goal of "helping a bunch of young men to make up for those guys that I let down." Then he laughed about the reality that fellow Baby Boomers are getting the most out of his comeback as a college football player.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

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