College / Culture / August 23, 2007

Linebacker, 59, to Become Oldest College Football Player in History

He’s an empty nester. He’s a grandfather. And now, Mike Flynt is set to become the oldest college football player in history at age 59.

Flynt returned to Sul Ross State this month, 37 years after he left and six years before he goes on Medicare. His comeback peaked Wednesday with the coach saying he’s made the Division III team’s roster. He could be in action as soon as Sept. 1.

Flynt is giving new meaning to being a college senior. After all, he’s a grandfather and a card-carrying member of AARP. He’s eight years older than his coach and has two kids older than any of his teammates.

Why did Flynt want to return to the football field again?

Flynt’s life was supposed 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.

Instead, they’ve moved to this remote patch of West Texas so Flynt can mend an old wound and, he hopes, inspire others.

Why did Flynt not finish his football eligibility the first time around?

Flynt was going into his senior year in 1971 when he got into a fight that was far from his first. School officials decided they’d had enough and threw him out of school. He earned his degree from Sul Ross by taking his remaining classes elsewhere.

Of course, Flynt is finishing his glory days in Texas. Whether he makes a significant contribution to the team, there is no question that Flynt is setting a record that will not soon be broken.

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