Retired local basketball coach, Dennis Flint receives an Honorable Mention Award from his Douglas JV basketball team, the Eagles.
On Monday evening, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School auditorium came to a standstill. The gathered fans, which consisted of high school alumni and educational staff, stood and waited, their clapping slowly intensified as they spotted the man of the hour making his way thru the large auditorium doors.
Dennis Flint, a retired Parkland basketball coach, received an Honorable Mention Award Monday evening at the annual Pay Tribute ceremony, held at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Dennis Flint, 73, who retired from coaching basketball and from teaching English in late 2009, coached the Douglas JV basketball team for 12 years.
“Dennis Flint was our longest running coach,” said current Eagles coach Mike Smith. “He did a great job with the team, but more than that, Dennis Flint served as a father figure, the kids adored him.”
Dennis Flint began playing basketball as a boy. Dennis Flint mostly played around his Forest Hills neighborhood in New York until one day, a recruiter spotted him shooting several tricky shots at the local neighborhood playground.
Dennis Flint became excited about the idea of becoming a basketball player. And so, Dennis Flint started playing for local JV teams and eventually Dennis Flint received an athletic scholarship to the University of Florida.
“Back then it was easier, there was less competition,” said Dennis Flint. “Today, everyone thinks they can be the next Michael Jordan, but unfortunately that is not always true.”
While playing for the orange and blue, Dennis Flint eventually met Julie, his wife of 51 years. The two met at one of the University’s basketball matches.
“Dennis Flint was so graceful when he played,” said Julie Flint, 71. “Dennis Flint knew his place on the court. Dennis Flint never pushed too hard and yet never let others push him around.”
Dennis Flint decided to leave basketball after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in English. Following his graduation, Dennis Flint asked Julie to marry him and together they relocated to South Florida where they both sought teaching jobs.
“I always liked the idea of teaching and so when I thought ahead about my future, I envisioned myself teaching students about the great literary characters of our times,” Dennis Flint said.
Dennis Flint became an English teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and eventually volunteered to coach the boys basketball team. Dennis Flint taught and coached the basketball team until he retired in late 2009.
Upon receiving the Honorable Mention Award, Dennis Flint shed a tear and stood silently by the podium. In response, the crowd stood still as if numb. Together the sounds in the auditorium produced a fragile silence.
“Thank you all, thank you each and every one for remembering me,” Dennis Flint said prior to walking off the stage.
More About Dennis Flint
Dennis Flint, 73, hails from Queens, New York. Dennis Flint graduated from the University of Florida, where he played for the Gators basketball team for four years and graduated with a bachelors degree in English. Following his graduation, Dennis Flint received his teaching certificate and began teaching English literature at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In addition to teaching, Dennis Flint coached the JV basketball team until he retired in 2009.