Mike Flynt was a linebacker for Division III Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas and wore the number 49. Flynt is a strength coach by trade and was a conditioning coach at Nebraska, Oregon and Texas A&M. He is the inventor of the Powerbase Fitness exercise equipment. Clients for the Powerbase system include school systems and the military. Part of his life story includes being the son of a Battle of the Bulge survivor and having dabbled in gold mines and oil wells.
In 1965, he was on the first state championship team at Odessa Permian, the high school featured in Friday Night Lights. He was offered a partial scholarship at Arkansas when the Razorbacks were among the top football teams in the United States. However, he attended Ranger Junior College instead.
He later attended Sul Ross State in 1969, which was a member of the NAIA. The Sul Ross State Lobos were in the Lone Star Conference with East Texas State, a school that featured future NFL stars Harvey Martin and Dwight White. Another rival at the time was Texas A&I, which was starting a two-year run as national champs. The highlight of Flynt's two years at Sul Ross was participating in a victory against A&I with its only loss in '69. Flynt had been a team captain and the leading tackler as a junior.
Starting his senior year in 1971 Flynt was involved in a physical fight. School officials decided that due to his history with fights on campus, he would be expelled. He still earned his degree from Sul Ross State by taking his remaining classes elsewhere. At a reunion of former Sul Ross students from the 1960s and '70s, and while speaking to a former college roommate, Randy Wilson, Flynt mentioned how he had wanted to participate in the '71 season. Wilson suggested he make a comeback.
Division III Football
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His motivation to return to football occurred while he was drinking beer and swapping stories with some old football buddies. He brought up the biggest regret of his life: Getting kicked off the college team before his senior year. Flynt found out he was eligible to return to Sul Ross State. Flynt, who was living in Franklin, Tennessee at the time, told his wife about the idea. They've sold their suburban Nashville home and are now living in Alpine, Texas a town of about 6,000 residents near the Big Bend National Park, a three-hour drive from the nearest major airport.
He is eight years older than his own coach, Steve Wright. He played his last collegiate game for the Sul Ross State Lobos in 1970. In 1971, he was thrown out of the university. One of his original college coaches was Jerry Larned, and he has counselled him at the start of his comeback. Despite the fact that he is two generations older than his teammates, Flynt, a career strength and conditioning coach, told the publication Sports Illustrated that he can still do some things in the weightroom that the other players can't. Flynt says he can still do 25 consecutive pull-ups, for example.
He missed the first two games of the 2007 season with a pinched nerve in his neck. In a game on September 15 versus rival Mary Hardin-Baylor, the Lobos were down by a score of 55-14. Flynt's fan club, known as the "Sul Ross Baby Boomers", along with Mary Hardin-Baylor's "Couch Cru" student section chanted for number 49 to come into the game. Once he plays, he will become the second-oldest man to play in an NCAA game. Neither the NCAA or NAIA keeps age as a statistic, but research in 2007 hadn't turned up anyone older than their mid-40s playing NCAA Football. In 2011, Flynt's record was broken by 61-year old Alan Moore, who missed finishing college due to serving in the Vietnam War, when he joined NAIA-affiliated Faulkner University as a placekicker.
- "59-year-old rejoins college football". therecord.com. 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- Sports Illustrated, September 24, 2007, p. 34
- "Flynt, 59, making comeback with Sul Ross State University". ESPN. 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-09-22.