ORONO, Maine — Former University of Maine offensive lineman Mike Flynn, who went on to have an 11-year career in the National Football League, will be inducted into the school’s prestigious football Ring of Honor on Saturday when the Black Bears host Rhode Island at Morse Field
Flynn, who played for UMaine from 1992 to 1996, was an offensive guard and tackle for the Black Bears. Following his stint at UMaine, Flynn moved on to a successful NFL career highlighted by a Super Bowl championship in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens.
“I am excited and humbled to be inducted into the Ring of Honor,” Flynn said. “UMaine has a rich history of great football teams and players. I am so proud I was able to be a part of it. I would like to thank the committee for selecting me. I know it was a difficult process because of other worthy players. As an athlete, to be recognized as one of the best to play at a university is what we strive for. This induction is certainly one of the highlights of my career.”
Flynn, a 1997 UMaine graduate, will join former receiver Thurlow Cooper, linebackers Chris Keating and John Huard and head coach Harold Westerman as members of the Ring of Honor. The Ring of Honor was established in 2005 to recognize and honor the most outstanding members of the football program.
“Mike Flynn’s accomplishments at the University of Maine and in the NFL speak for themselves,” said former UMaine football head coach Jack Cosgrove. “Flynn made a career out of showing those who thought he couldn’t that he could. His achievements at the highest level of our game are impressive. His NFL career remains the longest of any Black Bear and he still holds the distinction of being the only Black Bear to start in and win a Super Bowl.”
While at UMaine, Flynn earned All-Yankee Conference first-team honors as a senior and was a third-team honoree in 1995. Flynn, a captain and four-year starter, was honored by the Black Bears as the 1996 Sam Sezak Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
“My time at UMaine was probably the most enjoyable in my football career,” Flynn said. “I was young and very raw in terms of my football ability. I was lucky to have coaches in Jack Cosgrove, Joe Gilbert and Kirk Ferentz who understood the game and had the ability to teach the game. Most of what I learned at UMaine carried me through my pro career.”
After his collegiate career, Flynn signed with the Ravens in 1997 as an undrafted free agent. After brief stints with Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, he re-signed with Baltimore and made his NFL debut in 1998. Two years later, Flynn was the starting right guard for the Super Bowl XXXV champion Ravens. He shifted to the center position where he played through the 2007 season.
He was picked up by the New England Patriots in 2008 but was released before the season, retiring from football soon after. In all, Flynn appeared in 134 games with 115 starts in the NFL.
Flynn grew up in Agawam, Massachusetts, and attended Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Currently, Flynn co-hosts “Johnston and Flynn”, a weekend radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also is a contributor on Comcast SportsNet New England. He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of four boys; Jake, Joe, Mike and Patrick.
Chappelle scrimmage Saturday
The University of Maine men’s basketball team will compete in the fourth annual Skip Chappelle Scrimmage at 1 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Gym. Admission is free for the preseason intrasquad scrimmage.
The event will showcase both the new and returning faces in a game setting as the Black Bears get ready for the 2017-18 season. The homecoming event will precede UMaine’s football game against the University of Rhode Island, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m.
“The Skip Chappelle Scrimmage is a great chance for our fans to get a look at our new team and it allows us to see our guys in a game situation,” said UMaine head coach Bob Walsh. “With eight new players, evaluating what we have is important, and a public scrimmage will give us a good look at the progress we’ve made so far and what we still need to work on. ”
Chappelle, one of UMaine’s most-decorated basketball players, averaged 20.5 points per game during his Black Bear playing career from 1959 to 1962. He ranks ninth all-time in scoring with 1,352 career points and was a three-time All-Yankee Conference selection. The Old Town native was named a Little All-American in 1961 and was selected in the 11th round of the 1962 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks.
Chappelle returned to campus in 1972 and guided the Black Bear program for 16 seasons. He ranks first among UMaine men’s basketball coaches with 217 wins. Chappelle was inducted to the inaugural class of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.
“To honor an all-time UMaine great like Coach Chappelle gives it special meaning to those invested in our program,” said Walsh. “It’s great to have the scrimmage as a small part of homecoming.”
Following the Skip Chappelle Scrimmage, the Black Bears will have home exhibition contests against Husson University on October 28 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and against St. Joseph’s College of Standish on campus at Memorial Gym on November 5.