LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA – The Lincoln University officially introduced Ramon Flanigan, the former Division I offensive coordinator for Mississippi Valley State, as the new Lincoln Lions head football coach today at a press conference at the Student Union Building Theater.
Flanigan, who replaces Coach Olabaniji (O.J.) Abanishe after five seasons, is the second Lion head coach in its NCAA Division II era.
“The Lincoln University Lions has selected the perfect candidate in Coach Ramon Flanigan, and we are honored to have him as the leader of The Lincoln Lions Football Program,” said Dr. Robert R. Jennings, president of the University. “Coach Flanigan is both an experienced coach and former, record-setting Southern Methodist University quarterback and All-American. I can think of no better combination in a coach to make our program consistent with our University’s history, and that is, first.”
Director of Athletics Dianthia Ford-Kee echoed those sentiments.
“We welcome Coach Flanigan to The Lincoln University family,” Ford-Kee said. “I believe the search committee did an excellent job in identifying candidates they believed possessed the knowledge and work experience best suited for our program. He has experienced winning as a student, athlete and coach. We believe he will transfer his experiences to our program and move the program forward.”
Flanigan comes to Lincoln from a highly-decorated coaching career in NCAA Division I with Mississippi Valley State and the University of North Texas as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Prior to coming to Lincoln, Flanigan, who also assisted with academic and other administrative duties, worked three years for the Mississippi Valley State football program under head coach Karl Morgan.
“I am honored to be the head football coach at The Lincoln University,” Flanigan said. “The fact that the Administration thought enough of me as a person and as a coach to entrust their football program to me is very humbling.”
Before his stint at Mississippi Valley State, Flanigan spent the 2008 season as the wide receivers coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy and was the quarterbacks coach at Galveston Ball High School in 2009.
Before coaching at the high school level, Flanigan spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of North Texas – five as the program’s offensive coordinator. In his first season of directing the offense, Flanigan helped the Mean Green amass 3,699 total yards, which was at that time the highest total since 1994. In his second year, he improved the offense to 4,257 total yards of offense and a scoring average of 27.5 points per game, which was also the best for North Texas since 1994. During the 2004 campaign, Flanigan’s offense posted more than 4,000 total yards of offense for the second time in school history. While serving as offensive coordinator under then head coach Darrell Dickey, North Texas won four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships and made four postseason bowl appearances.
Dickey, who is now the offensive coordinator at the University of Memphis, praised Flanigan for his hard work and success over the years.
“Lincoln University is getting an outstanding football coach in Ramon Flanigan,” Dickey said. “He possess all the qualities and is a man of great character and integrity. Ramon leads by example and represents himself in a first-class manner.”
In six years as the quarterbacks coach at North Texas, Flanigan was responsible for the development of several young quarterbacks and was faced with a similar challenge in 2005. Scott Hall became a starter as a true freshman in 2001 and under Flanigan’s direction, improved to lead the Mean Green to its first bowl game in 42 years the following season..
Flanigan was just one of 10 coaches selected to participate in the NCAA’s inaugural Expert Coaching Program in June 2004. The program was created for ethnic minority football coaches with at least six years experience to help in the development of minority coaches. He was chosen again in 2005. He also participated in the NFL Minority Internship Program, spending time with the Green Bay Packers.
“He has a rich background,” Floyd Keith, the former Executive Director for the Black Coaches Association, said. “He has coached in Division I and has FCS experience. He is a bright individual and will do an outstanding job at Lincoln.”
Flanigan, a 1997 graduate of Southern Methodist University, led the Mustangs to a 6-5 record, the school’s first winning season since 1986. He concluded his SMU career as the school’s career leader in total offense with 7,437 yards and as the school’s fourth all-time leading passer with 5,640 yards. He is the only player in SMU history to pass for 5,500 or more yards and rush for at least 1,500 yards. He had 30 career passing touchdowns and 27 career-rushing touchdowns for a school record 57 touchdowns produced.
He made his collegiate debut as a true freshman in 1992, but received a red-shirt after partially tearing a thumb ligament against North Texas and missed the final nine games of the season. In 1994, Flanigan was one of 11 players in the country selected to the College Football Association All-American Team. He was a second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference pick that season after finishing 13th in the nation in total offense (237.1 yards per game). When he has finished his playing career, he proceeded to complete his academic tenure at SMU with a bachelor’s degree in Economics with Financial Applications.
Flanigan graduated from Rider High School in Wichita Falls in 1992 after leading Rider to consecutive city championships.
EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘THE LINCOLN UNIVERSITY’ IS NOW THE OFFICIAL NAME FOR THE INSTITUTION FORMERLY REFERRED TO AS ‘LINCOLN UNIVERSITY’ OR ‘LINCOLN UNIVERSITY OF PA’ AND SHOULD BE ADHERED TO IN ALL REFERENCES.
The Lincoln University, founded in 1854 as the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), combines the elements of a liberal arts and science-based undergraduate curriculum along with select graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly-technological and global society. Today, the University enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 2,000 men and women. Internationally recognized for preparing and producing world class leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lillian Fishburne, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Langston Hughes, the noted poet, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria.